Note: Greatly edited in 2017 to remove details, some personal, most merely pointless and boring.
In my last post I forgot to tell about the creekwalk Micah and I took past the power pylon at Seymour Preserve. It was pretty awesome, except toward the end. We took the same route described in the last creekwalking post to that pylon and then kept on going. After trekking through an expansive field of four-foot-high, brittle weeds, we ended up across the street from a brilliant creek that happened to be at the edge of Caldwell Nature Preserve. When we got to the creek we found the going would be nice and easy, since there was a trail running right next to the creek for its entire length. In Caldwell we had probably the most fun we’ve ever had on a creekwalk.
Eventually that creek flowed into the Mill Creek, which, according to my map, would take us directly under a cool railroad. However, we didn’t follow the Mill Creek exactly, because Micah wanted to veer upward and into what he thought was a shortcut. It wasn’t. What it was was a dank, dreary, depressing place called “American Crushed Steel” (we think–that’s what it said on the side of a machine there). American Crushed Steel was a vast muddy plain strewn with enormous piles of metallic trash sorted into separate piles. Each pile had a different kind of garbage in it. Parts of old wheels go here. Inexplicable metal circles there. Dead coffee cans in that pile, springs in this one. Micah and I trudged through the thick, inescapable mud, dodging frequent puddles of water and sometimes not dodging them, walking across fallen doors and beside defunct bulldozers, and came disbelievingly to a fence with a railroad on the other side, just like we’d planned all along! Here we stopped next to a caboose on American Crushed Steel’s side of the fence that hasn’t run for at least thirty years and pulled Pop-Tarts and Sprite out of the backpack we’d been alternatingly carrying. We must’ve looked for all the world like juvenile hobos.
We resolved to wait here until a train passed by and then turn back and go home. That plan didn’t work. We sat for probably an hour and nothing passed by. We heard trains tantalizingly close but out of view on other tracks somewhere and had to just sit there. Eventually we got fed up and turned around. We were much more tired by then. It was less fun to walk back through Caldwell and not fun at all to walk back through the field of four-foot weeds, but we knew we had to. Just before night, we arrived home. That was March 14th, by the way.