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Topic: Old Railroads  (Read 417 times)

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jlbonnie2000
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« on: April 12, 2016, 04:45:15 pm »

I am hoping this does not turn into a rambling post.  That is a post you enjoy writing, but no one reads it.  

I like to go west.  I have always lived somewhere in the Midwest.  Illinois, Missouri, and now Arkansas.  Heading west is something I do ever year.  Now that I am retired, maybe 2-3 times in a year.

I often travel with my wife.  We both have S/T machines.  She is a very good rider.  Fun to travel with.  She likes to ride along at a nice pace.  Mostly, this is whatever pace I am going.  If I "gas it" around a truck or car, she will to.

Having someone that travels with you that never complains is truly a gift in life.  And, not to mention being my wife.

We travel exclusively on 2-lane roads.  We even like the less traveled roads.  It seems we always find adventures.

One thing I have noticed that on near any 2-lane road you want to travel out west on, there used to be a railroad along that road.  Almost all of them.  It makes traveling fun to point out the old trestles.  See the old grades.  Follow them as you ride along.  The wood may be long gone from trestles, but you can see the approachment on both sides.

Following these old railroad grades is a lot of fun.  They sometimes take you into interesting towns that used to have a glorious past.  Now, just left over ghost towns.

One such awesome town is Canyon Diablo, AZ.  It's down the road from Two Guns, AZ.  On Rte 66.  Go find this old railroad town!!

One of my favorite railroads to follow the Denver and South Park.  You can pick it up easy by Manitou Springs, Co.  You can follow it all the way to Buena Vista.  Then, up into the mountains to a town called St Elmo.  From St Elmo, you have to hike to the Alpine Tunnel going thru the Continental Divide close to 12,000 feet.

Or, ride around!!  

Go to Pitkin, Co. and go up to the west portal of the Alpine Tunnel.  You can do this on most ST machines.  Then, follow the grade all the way to Gunnison.  And, Montrose!!

Another fun railroad is thru the Badlands of South Dakota.  You can follow it all along Hwy 44.  

Another good railroad is thru Spearfish Canyon in South Dakota.  Just about any road in the Black Hills has an old railroad grade next to it.  All those towns in the Black Hills were once connected by trains.

Entering the Oklahoma panhandle, you can pick up an old grade just north of Woodward.  It goes all the way to Boise City.  There are several places where the wood timber from the old trestles can be seen.

One here in Arkansas starts at the town of Seligman, Mo.  You can ride on the grade at times thru Baxter Hollow, down to Beaver and the famous "cut", then to Eureka Springs.  

In Kansas, all along Hwy 24 is an old railroad grade.  In Beaumont, Ks, you will come to a town on top of the hills known as "the divide".  Beaumont is east of Wichita.  According to a local lady, the train had such a steep climb coming up the hill from either side, it used to stop and relax in Beaumont.  A very exclusive hotel still stands near the train tracks.

Anytime you travel any 2-lane road, look for the old railroad grades.  Chances are, you will see one.

John

 
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