The Trestle

Pat and I enjoy discovering and photographing old railroad trestles. This trestle was discovered on the Grand River near Rives Junction, Michigan. There was a viewing point pull off that made landscape pictures possible. I wanted some close-ups and some shots from the bridge. To get to the trestle I fought my way through the forest primeval. To my surprise, I came upon a mosquito convention attended by every mosquito in Michigan. After donating a few pints of blood, I reached the trestle and walked out on its still sturdy ties. Next time I will bring a pith helmet and machete.

The Trestle

The Trestle


Structure and Trees

Structure and Trees


Ties

Ties


Tie Garden

Tie Garden


Shore Reflections taken from the Trestle

Shore Reflections taken from the Trestle

The Trestle

Today I want to tell you a story. The story is about a beautiful reminder of the glory days of railroading; specifically a nearly forgotten trestle. Pat and I came upon this trestle during a summer photo outing, thanks to a tip from a local photographer. We visited the location but had difficulty getting pictures due to mature Summer foliage and mature aggressive mosquitoes. We decided to write down the middle-of-nowhere location and return in the Fall in hopes of clearer views.

The trestle is within a couple of hundred yards of the intersection of two gravel roads. From the bridge of the busier gravel road the trestle is barely visible. Look toward the top of this image and you can see the support structure.

From the Bridge

From the Bridge

From the other gravel road, we could see the trestle in its beautiful – almost magical – setting. Leaves were gone, but trees still obstructed any clear view.

From the Road

From the Road

We knew we would have to go down the trail to the trestle to get the shots we wanted.

The Path

The Path

When we reached the trestle, I knew exactly where I needed to be to get the picture I wanted. I needed to cross the trestle. To get to the ties that were still solid on the trestle, I needed to first walk along the rather narrow support beams.

Support Beams

Support Beams

The rails had been removed from the ties, but the ties were mostly intact. Some of the rivets were intact, some popped loose, and some entirely missing.

Rivets In, Out, & Gone

Rivets In, Out, & Gone

Crossing the trestle involved some larger steps where ties were entirely missing or deemed too risky by my more responsible side.

Broken Tie

Broken Tie

I made it safely to the other side intact with my camera and two lenses. I shot a picture with my zoom lens first, to capture the simple engineering of the trestle.

Trestle Detail

Trestle Detail

Then I changed lenses and used a wide-angle lens to capture the image that I had held in my head for weeks. It was overcast, but still a good day.

The Image

The Image

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