Trestle Revisited

Friend Julie and I went on our weekly photo shoot with our primary aim being a visit to the trestle, sans mosquitoes. I did a post about our first visit here.

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Our goal was to be able to spend some time exploring around the trestle and to take more photos. Julie was able to do this and posted a great story and photos here. I, unfortunately, had developed very severe foot pain throughout the morning and couldn’t move away from the car. I wish I could say, with honesty, that I overcame the pain to do what I needed to do to get the shots. I did get out of the car, hobbled the few feet to the trestle, and took some shots balancing on my right leg. I also learned I can use my car to get myself in position to frame my shots.

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In the following days as I was editing my photos, I was disappointed that I had not been able to move around to frame that magic photograph that would knock your socks off. Then I picked up Freeman Patterson’s Photography of Natural Things to reread. He got me thinking about the photos I did take – which one were worth keeping and which ones to delete. His books seem to have a lot to offer as I am developing my style. His thoughts about the importance of understanding the ecosystem of nature, that everything in the environment is interconnected, helped view my photographs differently. Patterson helped me think of how this unique setting impacts on how I think about the trestle. The trestle would be very different in any other setting. I decided on these two images because I want to show the mystical way the trestle and nature are becoming one and how this setting makes the trestle special.

I’ll look forward to going back next year to record changes that take place over the winter.

Railroad Trestle

Ailsa picked “Wild” as the travel theme this week. Friend Julie and I didn’t travel far – just an hour away in time, but much further back down dirt roads. We had stopped on a small bridge thinking we could photograph the stream underneath but nothing struck us. A truck came along and stopped; a small fear rose in me. A young man smiled at me and asked if I was having fun. Strange question but I decided to take it at face value, smiled at him and said yes I was having a great time finding fun things to photograph on the back roads.

He said we need to go down to Shaytown and photograph the old train trestle. Go way down to the end of this road, (he stressed way down – to the end) turn right at the fork, and turn left at the first road. He even showed us a photo on his smart phone.

We were off. And it was way down, the end of that dirt road, when it turned onto Shaytown Road. Further on we found a road going left and there it was, on our left.

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The photo the lad had shown us was of the ties up close so we figured we could get to it. Julie started walking down the road and I followed with the car. A ways down she found the old bed (sans track) but it was very overgrown and difficult to walk along. Ever notice how quickly our civilized plots of land become wild once we walk away from them. This was dense and Michigan overgrown wild.

Besides, the mosquitoes were wild, vicious and very plentiful. We decided that we would return in the fall after the first hard frost. We also decided we needed to go back the way we had come so we could get road names to put into a GPS because we were clueless as to where we were.

We turned the corner and there was a mowed lane. We had been speculating on how much blood we had lost to the blood-sucking little… (I’ll keep it nice) so it never entered our minds to get out and walk. I decided to drive it, like hubby used to do up in the copper mining areas of Michigan’s UP. This lane was just wide enough for a car to get through – and it wasn’t posted.

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The ties are laid over steel beams so it is still sturdy, but it appears that the steel is supported by a wood structure underneath. The wood beams that supported the rails are starting to rot, and will someday return to the earth as nutrients for the vegetation growing wild around it. It is already nourishing some plant life.

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There wasn’t enough room to turn around so I had to back out – while Julie is telling me that I’m pretty close to the drop on her side and it is really deep. We will walk back there in the fall – after the wild mosquitoes are gone.

If you would like to share your interpretation of “wild” you can visit Ailsa at: