Exploring Alabama goes scouting for seven secluded trestles…

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by DeBandi, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
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    3,172
    Location:
    Blount Springs, AL
    While scanning maps I ran across something that sparked my interest.


    [​IMG]



    Further investigation showed several interesting rare old railroad trestles that I wanted to see if I could find to capture with a picture before they vanished forever.





    This area of Alabama is full of mining operations and most of this old spur is located on mining property.



    Some mapping detail of the area is in order.



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


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    Satellite imagery clearly shows several trestles still standing.


    [​IMG]



    Would we be able to find the old RR spur?
    Would we be able to access any of the trestles?
    Are they even still standing?
    How thick is the underbrush & kudzu this time of year?

    :scratch




    [​IMG]

    My buddy Buzz enjoys this sort of thing. So, off we go scouting for seven secluded trestles.




    More later. :pynd
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Your explorations always look good :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. DavidQ

    DavidQ We Don't Rent Pigs

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    This should be a good report.

    Unfortunately, I know of one you won't be able to find in Gardendale, AL.

    I'm sure I have some better pictures of it somewhere but I can't seem to find them. This is what it looked like in September 2005. This is less than half of it.

    [​IMG]


    This is what it looked like in May 2006.

    Some kid decided it would be a good idea to shoot fireworks off of it.

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. simpson

    simpson wild rover of hell

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    Fyffe, AL
    Keep it comin' DeBandi. :lurk
    #4
  5. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Blount Springs, AL
    As we arrived at the first location I quickly began to realize that this would be a bigger challenge than I was prepared for.




    The location is relatively close to a road but we have to get past the main gate of a coal mine. :scratch


    As we pull up to the coal mine I look around and notice about five large coal trucks and several cars. This place is busy and these coal trucks are not looking for guys riding motorcyles on their haul road. We don’t stop, :nono we keep rolling right in behind a coal truck. It's dusty. Real dusty. I start looking around, and I know I’m looking for a small gravel road to the left. We take the first road and get out of all the coal traffic. I check on my buddy, Buzz, and he just smiles back. :D




    This is not what I had expected. But exploring usually includes some kind of adventure. I take a second to look around and make a mental note on the lay of the land and the satellite image in my head. I tell Buzz we’re not in the right place. Close, but not in the right place.



    We get back out on the coal haul road and take the very next left onto a small gravel road. I know this could be the location and my adrenaline is pumping.








    I know this is the place. I can feel it!


    [​IMG]





    I see what I believe to be an old rr grade. We begin to follow it and start having to whack our way through the undergrowth on the bikes.




    I think I see it.................


    [​IMG]


    More later...:pynd
    #5
  6. gypsyrr

    gypsyrr in flux

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    Texas
    This is fun. Waiting for more.
    #6
  7. ddavidv

    ddavidv Thrifty not cheap

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    Railroad content...I'm in. :clap
    #7
  8. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Blount Springs, AL
    The heavy undergrowth opens up, and what I see in front of me is a sight to behold.




    [​IMG]




    It's exactly what we we've been searching for!



    The southern trestle on a spur that has been out of commission for years. Many years.

    :nod




    More later. :pynd
    #8
  9. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    :lurk
    #9
  10. Fireman1000

    Fireman1000 Long timer

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    I'm in.
    #10
  11. Bubba Satori

    Bubba Satori Finding my way home

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    That there is some really cool shite. Well done ! :clap
    #11
  12. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,172
    Location:
    Blount Springs, AL
    [​IMG]














    Normally, I would ride out on this and take a picture of our bikes. Something caught my attention.




    [​IMG] (Buzz Photo)


    These rr ties are rotten and in terrible shape.

    [​IMG] (Buzz Photo)


    Not even comfortable walking on them. I’ve never seen a rr trestle in such bad condition.



    [​IMG]









    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    :lurk
    #13
  14. PinkPillion

    PinkPillion Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Northeastern California
    Great idea DeBandi!! We have several of these nearby in the Feather River Canyon--but they are still heavily used -the old beaten up ones are a lot more interesting! Thanks for sharing. I'm watching...
    #14
  15. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Blount Springs, AL
    We carefully make our way across the rickety old structure.



    [​IMG]


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    When we get to the other side, we notice this.






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    :huh






    I've never seen a sign like this before.







    We continue to admire the old bridge for a few more minutes.


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    We need to figure out what to do next.


    Do we try to continue?
    Do we get back to the main road and search for another access point?

    :scratch



    Decisions..... :pynd
    #15
  16. fancyindigo

    fancyindigo schmancy...fancy

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    Fabulous and enticing as always...looking forward to the rest! :clap
    #16
  17. Brown Dog

    Brown Dog North Georgia Dual Sportr

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    Location:
    Calhoun, GA. USA
    My dad is retired from Norfolk Southern where He helped build & repair these bridges in AL, GA, MISS & TN.
    I remember him coming home for the weekend with severe Cresote [spelling?] burns on his muscled arms & face.

    It's a Crying shame :shoot that some of these gets burned down as DavidQ posted about the one in Gardendale :cry
    This beautiful history we are so lucky to have & view, CAN't be replaced.
    :flush forever.

    Way to go DD. Keep it coming as mentioned :clap
    #17
  18. DeBandi

    DeBandi Exploring Alabama

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,172
    Location:
    Blount Springs, AL
    [​IMG]



    With the underbrush so thick (look close and you can see the rails) on the original rr bed, we decided to investigate another possible access point a few miles away.




    As we're heading back to the bikes, Buzz says, "Hey man, we-got-company!"



    Uh-oh. :huh

    I see a guy making his way towards us.


    This could be a problem.
    #18
  19. Watercat

    Watercat . . . gravity sucks

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    :lurk
    #19
  20. BackRoadNomad

    BackRoadNomad Wandering around

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    DeBandi, please contact me by PM or email. I want to discuss this book I have with you.

    Attached Files:

    #20