Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Steel Rails

Just before we left for the campground on July 4th, we went down to Kershaw Park to watch Kate Lee perform at the Gazebo. One of my favorite songs she plays is "Steel Rails". It brings me to a time well before I was born, when rail travel was the premiere mode of transportation.
As a child on Long Island, rail travel consisted of taking the Long Island Railroad in to New York City, riding on silver tubes that were as glamerous as a paper towel roll. The glory days of steam were long over. The trains received their power from the infamous third rail, which was a raised rail above the tracks which carried enough juice to fry a person in seconds. We were taught a healthy respect for the third rail from a young age, second only to "Don't cross your eyes, you'll be stuck that way for the rest of your life", and just in front of "Don't eat too much sugar or you'll get worms."
Our campground is down in Delevan, NY, just south of Arcade in the Southern Tier. Arcade in known for the Arcade and Attica Railroad which has daily steam excursions to Curriers, NY. Last summer we took one of the excursions which was like stepping back in time. The steam train wiggled it's way slowly down the tracks past creeks and cow pastures, singing a ghostly howl that echoed through the hills at each crossing. The locomotive sent plumes of black smoke in to the air in contrast to the snow white steam that would billow out through the whistle.
This year, I took Cade with me by car, to chase the train down at a few crossings to get some photos of #18.

1 comment:

Caren Chesler said...

Stunning photos.

And do you know, I've said this, "If you eat too much sugar, you'll get worms" comment to quite a few people and no one -- not one -- knows what I'm talking about. More nonsense.

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