Posts Tagged ‘Wabash Trace’

The Which Way Challenge includes all sorts of things–signs, roads, tracks, walkways.  My photos this week are of trails: the first from the park in which I walk almost every weekday morning, the second a section of the Wabash Trace trail in Shenandoah, Iowa. I think there’s something inviting about the way a trail stretches into the distance, asking you to come a little further to discover its treasures and beauty.

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The Wabash Trace Nature Trail, running through southwest Iowa from Council Bluffs to Blanchard near the border with Missouri, is 63-mile route converted from a railroad right-of-way.  Although the trail is new to me, I’ve been familiar with the song by Johnny Cash since my father used to sing it around the house, evoking the glamor of train travel in the days before Amtrak.

 “The trail’s roots go back to the Wabash Railroad, which was one of the most important connections between the farmlands, factories and people of the American heartland and points east in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Indeed, the railroad is perhaps best known for the “Wabash Cannonball,” a passenger train that connected St. Louis to Detroit and was enshrined in a popular song from the early 1900s.”
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My experience with the trail has been much more plebian and certainly slower.  While visiting our older daughter in Shenandoah, Iowa, one of the towns through which the Trace runs, I went there for my morning walk.  The wind was as chilly as that at home, although what surrounds the Trace is very different from that of my park in a Chicago suburb!  Here there was a cemetery, fields (both harvested and with corn still waiting on the stalk), windmills of the kind on my grandparents’ farm, not the enormous, sleek high-risers of today, and other rural surroundings.  My walk, however, was as calming to the soul and as good for the body, which is, after all, why I walk.

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