Saturday, February 20, 2010

Photo Essay: West Essex Rail Trail

Now that Edith is enjoying a four-day work week, we decided to make the most of her fifth day this week by exploring one of the many rail trails in New Jersey - old train tracks that have been converted into bike paths and hiking trails, many years into their disuse.

"Sneakers or hiking boots?" I asked. I remembered Edith's story of jumping into three feet of snow off the burning ACES train somewhere in Bucks County, and I thought at least a few inches of that might remain in Montclair, where we were going to pick up the trail.

Edith said she was wearing sneakers and assured me that it would be fine. It would be flat, after all.

I should have worn hiking boots.

The early afternoon sun glowed warm through the trees lining the trail, turning snow into slush and sending each of my feet out to each side of the trail, slipping wet and soft but somehow slogging forward.

the entrance

power lines

deer tracks

tree

marker

vestiges

bridge

bridge

mile stone

Three miles of trudging along snow over gravel over phantom rails and ties, we hit one unexpected hill and  didn't feel cold at all despite wind and wet feet.

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