Friday, March 1, 2019

Modoc Line

The outdoors is my happy place. I start to get a little stir crazy if I’m stuck inside too long but just ever so little bit of sunshine can restore me quickly. One winter day when the sun was shining and the sky was that incredible blue we have here Rick and I set out for the Modoc Line. Stan Bales with BLM has been telling me to check this out for awhile now (Thanks Stan, it is a blast). The Modoc Line is an 89 mile portion of railway that has been converted by BLM to recreational trail. Beginning at Wendel road you can take this all the way to Likely. Rick and I covered about 30 m

Rail grades are always gradual and I was surprised how fast we climbed to Viewland summit. However my previous experience was always going up 395 on a bike. MUCH slower :) We ambled through the desert for a bit before the landscape changed, valleys, rivers, rock walls, so beautiful and tucked right alongside 395! Local Historian Tim Purdy had asked us to get a photo for a ‘then and now’ piece he was writing about Horse Lake Station. At first look I totally missed it then Rick pointed the remaining foundation out. There were also rails off to the side of the trail that were dug out in the middle. Jim Chapman told me you had to have what was called a siding so the train could pull off the track and the opening was for getting underneath to work on the cars. I freaking love history. Especially ours! We didn’t make it over to Horse Lake which is just 5 or so miles, next time for sure. 

Keep your eyes peeled, cuz you never know what you’ll find in the desert. Like a skeleton in a bathtub.

Hometown History with a side of sunshine please!

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