Sunday, February 3, 2013

Yet Another Walk in the Woods.

My sciatica has had me down for well over a month. The continuous pain has had me doing very little and has effected every aspect of my life. Thankfully the Chiropractic treatments I have been receiving in conjunction with physical therapy and electro therapy have me feeling a lot better. The pain, though constant and persistent has actually become tolerable. I decided I needed a long walk in the woods. It was a comfortable 28 degrees, so off I went, camera in hand. My favorite spot to "walk in the woods" is Patapsaco State Park. It is a narrow park running from Elkridge Maryland all the way up to Liberty Reservoir in Carroll County, 32 miles long, never more than a mile wide. Just like many parts of Appalachia, the long time inhabitants of the area were cleared out to make room for the park. I love to find their remnants of habitation.

I tend to find a lot of bed springs. They are always in really odd places.

They left behind a lot of their survival tools. At one time this probably was used to cut up the trees, thrown into the stove on a day just like this one. I have a chain saw. I can only imagine the effort it took to keep the house warm back then.

I just never know what I might find at these old homesites. I do not know when they began moving folks out, but from what I understand, most were gone by the early 1970's

The houses seem to all have been burned to the foundations and left to decay. At one time people lived here. Kids played, meals were shared, people lived their lives. Now trees grow though what was once a home.

One thing that I find a lot of is spring boxes. They are always left in tact. The entire homesite is gone, but the spring is left alone. 

I can only speculate this is or was a property marker. I was on the edge of the park when I found this human made anomaly.

I tend to find a lot of dams also. The entire Patapsaco River Valley was heavily industrialized from the 1770's on. There were many factories running off of the water power supplied by numerous containment ponds. Behind all these dams the space is completely filled in with silt and stone so instead of a dam, they are just waterfalls now.

There are hundreds of beautiful waterfalls in the park. This is the first step in the piedmont to the Appalachian Chain.

Did I mention it was only 28 degrees?

Knock, knock... Anyone home? Not for years now.

Yes, I drank from this spring. Very nice tasting water. Like I said, the springs at these homesites are for some reason left in tact.

I come across a lot of dumps. In the trunk of that car is a complete wood burning kitchen stove.

I love old dumps like this. I can spend hours looking through the debris. I really wanted to take that wood stove with me, but it is way too heavy and miles from a road.

I was really digging this crank. My first bike had that very same crank. I got it in 1973, when we lived in Atchison Kansas for a year.

When cars had real style...

My sovenier for the day. 6 foot long, enameled sign. I will be going back for the other side in the very near future.


tinman54 said...

I hope you feel better soon Frank! Looks like a great walk, I love to find areas like that, when I was young I went with my Dad every chance I got to check out old farm dumps, it was like a treasure hunt, you just never know what is buried out there!

I to like to look at abandoned houses and foundations and wonder about the story?? and that at one time that building was someones dream!

Wil said...

I'm not so sure that is a property marker. It looks more like the kind of anvil the local Indians use to work oak and ash up into splints for basket weaving. The appearance of wear on the blade edge is what gives it away. Here, the weavers would take a 4 to 5´ long cut section about 4" in diameter and drive it all along its length to force the fibers apart. These days they use the back of an axe head to strike the stationary log to the same effect.

YMGW said...

Nice sign Frank - go get that stove!

Someday'59 said...

What a great walk! So many treasures! The foundations, the steps, the "junk," all lead you to wonder about the people there before...