Walking The Rails Again.
I had a lot of chores and errands to do today so I decided to walk close to home, along the railroad tracks that run near my house. It was a bit windy and cold this morning but that strong April sun warmed it up quickly. The blue skies and puffy cumulus clouds made for nice walking despite the wind and cooler temperatures.
I walked out past some old strip mine ponds we called “doggie dams”. They are finally ice free. Still didn’t see any ducks or geese nesting on the ponds as they often do. I got on the still active railroad track and walked west. This area was just reclaimed from the old strip mines and culm banks that we played on as kids. The entire area still sits upon a honeycomb of deep anthracite mine. I was sad when they “reclaimed” the area since we had a lot of fun playing in the silt, culm banks and “stipins” when we kids. We found lot of coal, quartz and fossils in the culm banks. The tracks head north along Interstate 81 and head into the Valmont Industrial park. I hiked out to, what we named, the “mile high bridges”. These two old bridges spanned the Black Creek. I then switched tracks and walked back on the old “third rail” right of way. This was the old electric railway that connected Hazleton to Wilkes Barre. The right of way is the northern border of my property and runs into West hazleton. I walked up through the Babe Ruth and West Hazleton Little League fields and then home. I have taken this same hike many times over the years and I recalled the many wonderful memories I had on these hikes.
And I wasn’t the first one in my family to take this hike. My dad told me he hiked these same tracks when he was a boy. I often think how different it was back then, the mines were still being worked and there was just a swamp were the Industrial Park is now located. These thoughts always pop in my head when I am walking these same tracks.
It wasn’t exotic but it sure was a nice and relaxing hike. Here is a link to some more photos I took on the hike. https://keepyoureyespeeled.net/photographs-5/nggallery/blog-photos/railroad-tracks-hike-april-11-2015
If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older. ~Tom Stoppard