Sunday, December 13, 2009

Soledad Canyon

Driving through Soledad Canyon last weekend was an enjoyable experience for a variety of reasons.  The canyon runs basically eastward from the 14 freeway toward Acton, California.  As one nears Acton, the road starts to bend towards the northeast and continues that direction until it connects back up with the 14 freeway as it makes its way north toward Palmdale and Lancaster.  When we got to Acton, we turned north in town and went back up to the 14 by a different route since we were heading back home after our trip through Acton.

An active railroad right of way also runs parallel with the canyon road through the canyon.  There were several caches along the road that had train themes to it, including a tunnel view cache.  We heard and saw two trains go through the canyon while we were caching, but unfortunately, we were not in a good position to get decent pictures of either one.  In fact, we missed a trail going through the tunnel view cache by a matter of five minutes.  We kept hoping to see another train, and we eventually did, but the cache we happened to be near at the time didn't put us in a good position to train spot.  Sometimes caching is like that and we accepted it.

The seasons in Southern California are relatively delayed as opposed to other areas of the country.  We actually have two big blooming seasons, one in the springtime and one in the fall.  Our fall colors (what we have of fall colors) usually happen in late November/early December lasting into the new year.  It's finally getting cold enough at night that the trees are starting to drop their leaves in force.  I have a silver maple tree in my back yard and while it doesn't have any leaves on it now, most of them were knocked off by several good winter rainstorms that came through this area over the past week.  I would imagine the picture of the tunnel view would look something a little different this week with some of those trees being a lot more barren, leaf-wise, after this last series of storms.

The road we traveled on had several old bridges on it.  We were in a canyon, so we crossed Soledad Creek several times and also crisscrossed the railroad tracks in certain areas as well.  I kept looking for benchmarks along the way and I found a couple, but nothing that was in the geocaching benchmark system to log.  With the railroad tracks in play in the canyon, we both suspected that the benchmarks were probably tied to the tracks in some way and after getting home and doing a little bit of investigating, it became obvious that many of the benchmarks in the canyon were indeed along the tracks and not along the roadway.

The bridges we did cross were old enough they were dated.  I can remember growing up, the sidewalks had dates on them in several places.  The company that poured the cement would put some free advertising into the sidewalk along with the date the sidewalk had been poured.  I hadn't seen this type of dating in a long time, as the other areas I've lived in were newer neighborhoods and the practice seems to have been abandoned over time for some reason.  The neighborhood I live in now does have dated sidewalks however, since it's an older established neighborhood.

Bridges seem to have this same kind of dating system too.  The company that built the bridge didn't put their name on the bridge, but at least a date could be seen on several of the one we crossed.  One appeared to have been replaced as the bridge itself looked to be of a newer type of bridge, but the piers on which the bridge rests seemed to be the original pilings. Again, I found a benchmark near this one, but it was a small one and not listed in the system.  The one that was listed in the system near this spot, was down on the railroad tracks.  And so it goes sometimes when you're looking for benchmarks.

As I noted in one of my previous logs, the road was busy last week. There was an accident on the 14, so there were lots of cars using the canyon road as an alternate route to get around the backup on the freeway.  Since we didn't get all of the caches in the canyon, we plan to go back in the future.  Hopefully, the road will be a little more peaceful.

Pictures were taken at or near the following geocaches:
Train Tunnel View - by Yosemite John and Debbie
Thirties Train Tunnel - by Yosemite John and Debbie
Bridge to Shambala - by Yosemite John and Debbie

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a cool area to cache in! Trains and fire engines. That fire engine 'graveyard' looks really interesting.