Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More Pictures from the Mountains

Two unnamed riders hit a switchback on lower Star Gap. An ex-train engineer recently told me that he thought that the word switchback comes from the method that trains used to use to negotiate twisty tracks in the mountains years ago. He described that the train engine would approach the bend slowly and come to a stop in the turn. Then the engineer would flip a switch to back up a bit, stop, flip the switch to go forward a short distance again, stop and then continue to repeat this process until the train could safely pull all the way through the turn.
I am not sure but this one makes for good filler on a boring post.
While laying on my back for a few fleeting moments up high on the Blue Ridge I saw some interesting clouds roll on by overhead.


jeff said...

I love pictures of clouds - they always look new. The dogs are crazy different in each of the pictures. My math was off yesterday . One million people 700billion dollars is $700,000 for each! still not bad when the medain income in that country is probably about $10,000 if that.
I got Ghost wars from the Union county library. they also have Fiasco and the follow-up volume - none of them has ever even been opened! I want to consume this one as quickly as possible - someone has to do something and I'm getting the ugly feeling I am someone!
have a good weekend. Be safe, j

Anonymous said...

There's another explanation for switchback (also called a zigzag). A tight switchback can't be navigated by a train at all - no matter how much forward/back. So they would build the line up to the switchback then out past it for a train length so they could run the train all the way out. Then they reverse the engine and go up the next leg. So the train ascends the mtn in this forward/backward manner. You can tell an old rail grade from an old road grade by looking for an 'extension' of the trail headed off into the woods at the switchback. A truck can make the turn, the train needs the extra track to get to where it can reverse course. Here's a picture -