Sunday, March 24, 2019

More On The Train Robbery

I'm sitting this morning contemplating my sore calves with my coffee.  Here's the coffee cup you get when you're caught robbing the train.  It's from the Missouri State Penitentiary I visited a few years ago.  As a VISITOR, not an INMATE!
Maybe it's a good thing we couldn't catch up to the speeding train, although I'm pretty sure back in the day, it wouldn't have been going quite as fast.  
We hot-footed it to a turnout on the road to be far away from the train when it went by.  He honked at us ... not once but about six times as he lumbered by and I snapped away.
Again with the graffiti.  Some people just have WAY too much time on their hands.
And yes, their minds are warped when they deface such a beautiful little dam in the middle of nowhere Arizona.  Paint the trains all you want, just leave nature alone.
Further up we did find a few flowers blooming along the tracks.  
Even poppies!  I thought they were all in California, but here in the desert on the side of the railroad tracks were a small group of beautiful orange flowers.
When we got to the creek, I was fascinated by these bulls-eye like algae somethings growing on the bottom.  Has anyone seen this before?  Do you know what it is?  There were hundreds of them along the bottom.  Definitely a new sight for me.

On the walk home, dreaming of cowboys robbing trains and riding off into the sunset with all of the gold, I wondered aloud if there were any spikes left from the old tracks that went through here.  Of course, Dan said, so I made my way up the rock base to the top and walked along the rails.  

Holler if a train comes, I said.  Sure enough, I found one.  Then two.  If that wasn't enough, I found three, four and five.  I ended up with SEVEN.  Two look very old and two I'm sure were never used.  They have some kind of stamp on the top with letters and a number I can't quite read.  
That might have been a mistake.  By then I think my backpack weighed in at around 30 pounds, including my camera.  That last half a mile turned into a really long hike.

Unfortunately, Tom Selleck never road by on his white horse to whisk me away to his log cabin.  I'm giving him another shot as I check out a local ghost town.


  1. Another fine hike and watching the train go by and a bonus finding some railway spikes.
    A ghost town is always fun as well, enjoy.

    1. I do love exploring old buildings and locations. If a hike is involved, all the better.

  2. Sorry we didn't get to see you while we are at Escapade, but you know where we live and it's always good for a bathroom stop.

    1. I know where you live now!! LOL I'll be seeing you again at the gourd festival!!

  3. Those Spikes would make nice gifts to your Golden Spike Group.
    Watch out for Trains. It takes them longer to stop then an RV.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. With those traisn of 100-150 cars, I doubt there's much stopping at all!!

  4. If you find what they call date nails Here’s an interesting article

    1. Oh cool ..... thank you Ed. I'm interested to see what the numbers mean. Probably just where they were made.

    Iron Railroad Spikes in the Ancient Times

    iron railroad spikes in the ancient times
    In the ancient times, iron railroad spikes began to board the stage of history. Seen from today’s view, at the early times of railway birth, its design and construction are respectively simple and easy, steel rail is also quite different from today’s shape, so people only laid strap iron rails made of wood with a metal strap applied to the wood on the stone ground without sleepers, which is not all- iron. The sole important and main fastener is the iron railroad spikes. That was certainly tightly relevant with low-speed train which even can’t drive faster than horse


    In 1832, American Robert Livingston Stevens invented the first all-iron flanged T rail for railways and added a supporting base to the T rail which could be fixed with a simple iron railroad spike.

    Later on, a rail spike named dog spike was invented, which is functionally equivalent to a cut spike and is also square in horizontal section and of same dimensions but has a pointed penetrating head with two lugs on each side. That can give people the impression of a dog's head.

    dog spike in the ancient times
    The main function of rail spike is to keep the rail in gauge. It is not normally required to provide a strong vertical force, allowing the rail move slightly. It is used on wooden sleeper and matched with rail tie plate later.

    With further progress of railway technology, dog spike are gradually being replaced by screw spike. The screw spike was first introduced in 1860 in France. Modern screw spike is changed more than the past. The giant change is that it has been used with PSC sleeper and become one main component of complex rail fastening system.

    A screw spike, also named rail screw or lag bolt, is a big metal screw which is used to fix a tie plate or to directly fasten a rail. Screw spikes can be screwed into a hole bored in a PSC sleeper.

    1. Ancient times?? Gosh, I hate to think that's ancient. It's more like Egpyt is ancient!! Interesting info though!! I always wonder who invented this stuff.

  6. How much longer before you head back to Cal?