I'd combed Rio looking for GM&O railroad evidence until the cows came home and they shewed me off. "Who's that nut", I'd hear reverberating from the piny woods. They'd be right about the classification of nut.
I'd ridden up from Sun after going to the lock and was going to make a loop home on 1074 from Rio on down to La.16 to Enon, then back to the high place to do the watch thing.
I crossed this little bridge knowing I was shadowing the old railroad bed. I saw the remains of a trestle. That railroad was torn up in 1978 or bouts so you do the math, I have a hard time doing that borrowing thing. In that time much has disappeared. Anything left has graduated to archeological heirloom status, yes, even old trestle pilings. To each his own.
I rode back and forth looking for a good angle for a shot. None was available. I was faced with a decision. I know you just want to look at the pictures, but you are going to have to wade through this first. I had to make a decision. Would I chance getting shot wandering onto another man's land, unfenced or not, or go to the house and ask him if I could take a picture and be again looked at like I was from outer space. I almost went for the chance to get shot and then backed off. That was a great decision. I had heard a 4 wheeler running so I knew someone was around and getting shot was looking likely. There was. I rolled up to Jim's house and he was outside. I told him who I was and asked him not to call the cops. I told him I wanted a shot of his trestle. Jim's about my age, sixtyish. He's lived there all his life and had ridden the train, heard the fast passenger trains pass and knew it all. He just talked and talked and then I asked if there had been a station, which I knew there had been since the town, previously called Jenkinsville was named R 10 or Rio for the station number. Jim's artist aunt had painted the station and a little country store that had been across the street. He also told me about the little school busses that rode on the rails. I forgot their name. Later. What should I show you next?
Ok, here's Jim's trestle. It was pretty much covered with vines but you can make it out. First I want to show you Jim's 1951 M37 Ammunition Carrier It's a Dodge I think he said.
Andy just wrote and said this, "Really liked that PC, Personnel Carrier, what we called them in the Marines. I worked on those things for about a year when in the motor pool. Tough as nails".
I knew I was wrong but the light seemed to say "ammo" to me. Jim gave me so much info on so much I forgot it all, almost. It runs but the battery is bad. It is complete with the red warning light. I remember that.
It's not pink, it's red. Don't get any ideas.
Ok, here's the trestle. It is over Sal's Branch, up above Wright's Creek that went through Sun. It's all starting to come together, huh?
This is taken, obviously, from on top. All that is missing is the rails and some other stuff, no doubt.
Here's looking back toward the main line and Jim's house.
These are his aunt's paintings. He gave me a bunch of railroad contact names and offered to take me to another trestle down the road that was real big and in a beautiful setting. Jim's brother was waiting for him and was none to happy he'd been escaping work on the farm by talking to me, so, I told him I'd just use his name as an introduction. It was getting too late to go barging in on someone at the dinner table so I'm saving that until later. Oh, Jim's older brother just got back from riding his bike to Alaska. He said he thought Canada was prettier.
All the news that is news, fair, balanced and unafraid.
And R 10.
I felt that my years of exploring the GMO had ended fruitfully. The sadness of seeing that beauty spot spoiled at the Slidell station had been erased by that little painting.
Next, I'm going to get that other trestle. It ain't over yet.