Friday, 9 August 2013


I find it surprising how quickly the passing of time can change the appearance of what was once familiar. Spring 1970 was the last time I had walked along this stretch of the CP Rail's Sherbrooke Subdivision to mileage 17.4. This was the place where a trail started in through the woods to Otter Pond.

The year before, during summer 1969, CP Rail bulldozed the rock cuts and embankments away from the track, levelling much of the terrain between the right of way and fences. In that process a huge boulder was left where it lay on top of the ground, near mileage marker 17.4 that was tacked to a telephone pole.

Following a twenty-two year interlude I was making a return visit and sharing with my wife some reminiscences from previous track walks made long before we met. Today the telephone poles and their mileage markers were long gone and I was relying on my memory of the area's geography to locate specific points along the railway. Try as I might it was impossible to locate the trail to Otter Pond. Perhaps it had been overgrown by lack of use or obliterated by clear cut logging recently done in the adjacent areas. I was agitated by the disappearance of most of the once familiar CPR landmarks.

Not until we were returning did I spot the boulder right where it had been left twenty-three years ago. Trees had grown up around nearly hiding it. CP Rail is no longer keeping their right of way cleared back to the crumbled fences. Over the intervening years the forest walls had moved in closer.

Pictured above in July 1992, is the author of this nonsense standing before the almost hidden and not-so-famous boulder.

Along the CPR west of Milan, Quebec, in July 1992. The author's patient, quiet, attractive, long-suffering wife seen pictured in one of her less-than-favourite places: the middle of nowhere.

This space is gratefully dedicated to Kie, the writer's long-suffering wife who, in her own words, was heard to remark, "I've been dragged around the country, too often in and through the middle of nowhere, in search of trains that more often than not, never show up. Anyway, someone had to go along to capture the preceeding scene.

Written in Autumn 1992
The Oddblock Station Agant

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