Ramble with Storm: Towing on ice & trains

SHARE Ramble with Storm: Towing on ice & trains

Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, our family’s mixed Lab.

The meathead got so wound up when we tested the refrozen ice on the north old clay pit that he started towing me around. It was kind of fun.

But a different sort of transportation was on my mind this morning.


A freight train cut through the dark this morning as we came around the town pond, the headlight growing from a pin hole to throbbing light.

A train buff, who works in the rail yard in the south suburbs, Bedford Park, I think, once told me the twin set of the main rail lines to the east of the town pond went, to Vincennes, Ind., I believe.

Why there I had no idea.

I had assumed they ran from Chicago to Indianapolis or Champaign.

Trains pull at me, not in the same sort of way as they do for the train buff–he’s the kind of guy who regularly visits the Illinois Railway Museum in Union–but as a connection to deep-rooted memories of woods and baseball.

When I was young, our family usually took our vacation in a rustic cabin (no running water, no indoor toilet) in the Allegheny Plateau of northern Pennsylvania by the fabled Pine Creek.

Massive freight trains followed the tracks through the Pine Creek gorge. One sport for our family on vacation was counting cars on the trains. They almost always topped 100.

I hear the lonesome whistle of a freight train and I am instantly back in the pine-scented Pine Creek gorge.

A few Canada geese raised a racket on the lake to the west, but nothing too huge.

My other favorite connections to trains have to do with ball parks.

For years, I covered the Class A high school baseball finals for the Sun-Times. The finals for the small schools was held at Lanphier Field, which had a train track to the east behind the outfield fence.

It appealed to my romantic ideals of baseball.

I think no teams are now associated with it the field. It used to have a variety of minor-league teams.

Other high schools have train tracks by them, most notably the field at Providence Catholic in New Lenox.

On the south pit, the muddy track above led off the bank. An ice fisherman was out yesterday and had drilled some holes.

Otherwise, not much this morning, no doves, no squirrels. There was forecast for light snow, but the sky was completely clear.

At least I got the evil eye from the meathead in the dark.

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