Here it is the first week of January 2016, the daytime temperature has been around 5 degrees C for weeks and now the weatherman is calling for heavy rain, sleet and then snow and bitter cold! What the heck is Mother Nature trying to do to us and what the heck is a ‘Super’ El Nino?
Oh well, I am retired and don’t have to go out…except for groceries and Pepsi.
This could be the perfect time to think back on The 2 Old Guys Walking blog and ask a couple of questions. Okay, the first question that comes to mind is why do we do this… and is easily answered, we enjoy the writing. The second question is, after two years and 160 postings, even the Ranger can’t fathom, where the heck do we come up with all this stuff?
Well, the following ramblings might give you a better idea what goes on in the Rangers head when he is nearing a deadline for a new posting and has a brain freeze worse than the weather outside!
Well, all it takes is a favorite memory, like the one concerning a recent Wednesday outing on a “No Exit” road that the Bushwhacker had earlier discovered and now was very anxious to explore. This road runs north of the Village of Osaca off Northumberland County Rd 65. After a short drive up Bell’s Hill Road and parking the Tacoma, we trekked northward on an un-opened road allowance/ATV trail.
Great trail, few Alpine type hills! What the heck…railroad ties! Be still my heart, could this be part of the long ago Canadian Northern Railway line known to have passed through Osaca that I have not yet explored? A short walk further on…the remnants of a rustic old stone bridge that had been converted to a narrow deck ATV span over the Ganaraska River!
Ranger’s imagination ran wild…could some of these stone formations have been a long ago grist Mill?
I’ll be danged, a short distance farther, a second almost identical bridge spanning another ‘Ganny’ tributary. Wow, could we be walking on the hallowed ground of the elusive ghost town Decker’s Hollow? You should know by now that I love ghost towns as much as abandoned rail roads and old mills.
Could this day get any better? The Bushwhacker must have thought that I was walking on air! Love it when he gets that strange look on his face. This always happens when I think I have hit another ‘mother lode’ of history all in one place! Hey Bud…next time remember the camera (and the straight-jacket).
Later on, at home and upon further research, the big letdown! The Canadian Northern R.R. was located south of Osaca, not north! Okay, I should have known this, but the imagination was in passing gear!
The last time the Ranger got this excited was the day we discovered Purdy’s Mill in Castleton. I remember that day well. Hey, I wanted to talk to the mill owners. I brazenly walked up the long driveway to the Mill House, only because I noticed what appeared to be the owners outside … so I’m not trespassing right? Where is the Bushwhacker …oh, there he is standing on the highway, whistling under his breath and looking the other way. I think this was the first time that I had seen the straight jacket!
Well, this brave act paid off in spades and the mill owner welcomed us (both) and gave us an un-forgettable tour and some great pictures of all aspects of this rustic old mill.
Anyway, back to the story. Looking all around trying to figure out how a railroad could have possibly gotten down into the deep valley we were in, and cursing the fact that our cameras were back in the truck. Eventually, the Bushwhacker wisely pointed out that the ties made a sharp north- west turn. We both knew that trains could not possibly make such a sharp turn!
Seems the railroad ties were very likely from the old abandoned RR line and were put there by local ATV users to shore up a wet area on the trail.
The two old bridges, well they were just part of a long ago very scenic rural road. The ghost town, Decker’s Hollow was a mere one Concession Road west of here! (Close, but no cigar!)
The one great result of this fiasco was that according to the 1878 Northumberland & Durham Atlas, there was in fact the Elliott Flour Mill just a short distance west of that first bridge! Turns out that this mill burned to the ground in the late 1800’s! Our aversion to trespassing has prevented us from exploring this great find at this time.
You know the Ranger cannot resist this tidbit of information. Stay tuned…I think I may have come up with a great idea for a new post!