Trainman did not have daycare today so the Structure Sleuth surprised him with a stroll on the rail trail, headed for the monstrously over-engineered train bridge at Gold River. This was a real treat as Trainman had never yet seen this spot.
Originally built for for the railway in 1905, the Gold River bridge saw it’s last train in 1991 and was converted for foot and cycle traffic in 2001 by the military engineers of 143 Airfield Engineering Flight, Bridgewater.
On our approach to the site we parked on the Old Bridge Road, adjacent to lands belonging to the Gold River Mi’kmaq Reserve. This provided us foot access to the underside of the trestles where the Structure Sleuth was in her jollies…minus the very powerful smell of creosote from the “weatherproofed” timbers.
Sleuth was impressed by the heft of the timbers used to construct the supports and the stunning stonework underpinnings. I mean, that was laid by hand! So precise.
All that Trainman could point out was that “Dis isn’t where da trains were. We need to go up theyah.”
As soon as we got topside he dropped down to check if there were still rails under the trail surface. He insisted there were (even thought there weren’t) and got duly excited by the prospect.
We strolled back-and-forth across the bridge several times and took a couple of lovely shots of the river below.
Trainman got a kick out of being so close to the highway bridge that runs parallel. He also got lucky, as he always does, and found some unburnt coal in the woods beside the trail.
We met an amazing man, beating us with his pace, who said he was 94 an walks the trail every day, rain or shine. He was quite energetic and, when asked how he stayed healthy so long he replied, “Always look on the bright side. Stress will kill you. Keep walking and don’t eat fried food”
Sleuth says that is some pretty concise and darned good advice. Let us all endeavour to follow his example.
All-in-all a fun visit for the Trainman, though he did end with his usual mantra of “Mama, I wish there were still real trains here.” But, nevertheless, lots of fuel for his imagination, no doubt.