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The trail as it is now is new to my experience. Many years ago, more than thirty at this point, the trail was an unpaved set of railroad tracks, ties and gravel. To our adolescent need for adventure it was a pathway to our own set of adventures. We walked the tracks to the baseball field, to the drug store for soda and cigarettes, hidden from the main road and all those prying eyes. Now the tracks are gone. They only remains of them are the remnants that still stand next to the now paved bike trail. Now, small children and fathers ride bikes along in the summer afternoons, some walk dogs or just stroll along by themselves east to west or west to east passing a summer evening. I had not seen the trail in many years and the situation that brought me there again was full of stress and upheaval. I ber y quickly found that there was still solace and escape to be found now as a grown man no longer a restless teenager. Now as I did then I found exactly what I was looking for.
Many years ago I walked the.tracks almost every day in the summer. I walked them east to the drug store and then west to.Johnson’s Pond down behind the library to go fishing. Walking the tracks was our pastime and the added rebelliousness made those journeys sweeter and.fertile ground for reminiscing. We were never cognizant of any danger since trains rarely went down the tracks by that time. There was one day that a train did come.by, when I was about 11, and the coins we put in the tracks for the train to run over as a coveted prize for years afterwards. The quiet and solitude was a cherished and welcomed state of relief from the storms that often raged in my mind then. A.daily relief and a welcomed respite.
Early this present summer my life changed and the familiar became unfamiliar. I returned to my hometown under circumstances unplanned and unpleasant. I needed that solitude once again and I knew exactly where to find it. I spent hours walking along the trail and though the tracks are gone I still found the atmosphere I needed to deal with what was going on. Once again I walked east to west and then west to east. While I walked I listened and I am sure I heard the echoes of long lost voices and in that chorus of nostalgia I was able to cope with the changes forced upon me.