Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Solitude on the tracks
Simpson train tracks have been abandoned with the city of Shelton getting the first two miles of tracks and the rest of the tracks currently in limbo. Limbo can be good for open spaces, no dog rules, no parking permits, no entrance fees and generally no crowds.
I've taken to walking the old tracks for these reasons and because they are close to home and parts of the line are very pretty. I like the part that runs next to Goldsbourgh Creek. It's a very pretty area, but also probably very toxic, so beware. The toxic Goose Lake drains into wetlands that drain in the creek on this path. The toxic "C" street dump is also upstream. Both toxic waste sites are north of the tracks. South of the tracks, the city dumps biosolids. Biosolids are sewage waste and they can contain lots of nasty stuff including parasitic worm eggs and radiation.
So for this area I look, but I don't touch, I try not to touch the dirt or sit on the ground and I pack all of my own water in. Anywhere near Shelton I do the same. Shelton has a much deserved reputation for being pollution friendly. Who knows how many other toxic sites are clustered around Shelton that we don't know about?
I started my hike at 11am. I followed the tracks to Carmen road. After Carmen road the tracks and the forest might be posted, but I doubt anyone would actually get in much trouble for hiking back there.
We had our lunch after we had already reached our half way point and turned back for the day. There a are a few little trails that branch off the tracks, some go up to clear cuts, some go up to the biosolids application site, one goes up the the site of a former homeless encampment.
We finished our hike at about 3:30pm We hatched 6-7 Pokemon eggs and earned two Snorlax candies. Pokemon go clocked about 11 kilometers while my accurate GPS(r) recorded 8 miles, with just 200 feet elevation gain.
Folks who don't live in town want to install tourist railroad with belching coal engines next to people homes. The city and the people who actually live near the tracks want to convert the tracks to a trail.