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Showing posts from November, 2015

Railroads and Road Blocks

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Winding away from me, down the tracks in either direction, no end in sight, are hoppers filled with anthracite. The sounds about me, wind whistling in my ears and gravel popping under my tires, dims and disappears as I approach and stop at the railroad crossing. Nature’s beautiful silence fills the void...birds singing both near and far. 
It’s November and my coordinates are roughly 39.30*N and 87.23*W, the days grow short and the shadows long as the South Pole tilts toward the sun. A coal hopper casts a shadow of doubt over what is an otherwise glorious day. Roadblocks tend to do that. 
Lucky for me I have a bike with attitude, it will go just about anywhere. And so we do. After a quick survey of the situation and a smile for myself, obstacle turns to opportunity. No, I didn’t hobo the train...it wasn’t going anywhere. Along the rail-bed I head East and eventually South. About a quarter mile down the line I find one end of the train. There was no locomotive attached to the last hopper,…