Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Remnants of Days Gone By
Riding solo on the New River Trail gave me plenty of time to think. My thoughts wandered in time to the trail's earlier days. To before it was a bike trail. To the back breaking work of chiseling out these mountains to make a level foundation upon which to lay the tracks. I found myself imagining the times when trains lumbered through these mountains and along this river. I put myself in the Engineer's seat, leaning out the window of his engine,riding along with his own thoughts. Letting the wind blow in his face. Drinking in the beauty of the surrounding wilderness. Lucky for me, the beauty that beset that Engineer's eyes many years ago, has not faded.The physical evidence of the railroad are largely gone now; largely, but not entirely. As I rode along, I happened upon remnants of those days gone by, to subsidize the images in my imagination.As I chugged along under my own powerand my thoughts wandered, I could have sworn that a time or two, the deep silence of the forest around me was interrupted by a faint, almost indiscernible whistle. It wasn't a new sound, but instead one that had been emitted generations before, but it's echo still lingered.