There’s a closed road just down from where I live. Well, technically, half of it is open, and the other half is privately owned.
But, as we’re friends with the owner, we’re able to use it to more easily get from our road to the next without going the long way around.
At the halfway point of the road, there is a railroad crossing, and right next to the crossing is a small bridge, where the tracks go over a tiny stream.
I take that road frequently, and almost every time I do, especially if it is around sunset, I stop and take pictures of the bridge and the tracks and the sky.
When I was little, my siblings and I would go down to this bridge and play underneath it. The road used to be so bad that cars couldn’t go down it. We would walk there, and look for railroad spikes and other treasures under the bridge.
One time, I thought I heard a train, and went running across the bridge. But those things are not made for running, especially if you have little legs, and I slipped between two ties, and gashed my shin open.
And there was no train coming.
There aren’t very many trains that go through on these tracks. When the trains come by at night, we can hear the coyotes howling as they pass.
The tracks, a little way beyond the bridge, cross a driveway, which used to belong to my Grandparents before they moved into town. We would run outside when we heard trains coming, and watch them go by. Always a win when we got the engineer to blow the horn at us. When it had passed, we ran to the tracks to put a hand on them and feel them still vibrating.
Trains connect the country, though they’re not used as they used to be. And trains have long connected my family.