Yesterday was the perfect Spring evening as Dennis & I drove home to Grangeville from a long day at Dog Bark Park. Midway through our 15 mile commute is a stretch of old apple trees growing along what is now a vacated railroad line.
I’ve always admired these hardy scraggly trees & have picked their small fruit on occassion. It is my hunch that the trees were probably accidentally established long ago by railroad workers or passengers discarding the cores of apples brought with them on the train. And it is also my hunch that some of these trees have survived these many years simply because the adjoining land has not been altered for just as many years.
And it is my hope the trees will live out their natural lives for many many more decades to come. I enjoy thinking about the lives of those early day train travelers between Grangeville & Lewiston Idaho. The trip took most of a day, while now by car the same distance can be travelled in just over an hour! Much of the today’s scenery is the same as when the passenger train ran, with large grain fields rimmed by forested mountains & miles without seeing many or any houses.
The abandoned railbed, with tracks & ties removed between Grangeville & Cottonwood, makes a nice corridor for mountain biking, ATV riding or walking. During harvest season (mid-August into Sept) some sections of the railbed are used by grain trucks hauling wheat or canola to the storage elevators at Fenn, Idaho.
Stay tuned for more tree photos & report next fall about the 2009 apple crop!