My friend, Nancy (or should I call her my "unindicted co-conspirator") walked a newly-added portion of the Rails to Trails project over the weekend. Rails to Trails
We gabbed and walked, stopped for water and apples along Bennett's Creek, and solved all the world's problems. She and I were traveling down the remnants of the old Seaboard Coastline Railroad, which operated until 1971 when the railroad was absorbed by Amtrak. Not long afterwards, the tracks stopped being used. The "Juice Train" used to regularly traverse where we walked, bringing orange juice from Bradenten, Florida to Kearney, NJ.
Rails to Trails is such a superb idea for getting folks out to walk, bike-ride, roller blade, or even wheel chair down a newly-paved trail which (until recently) had been abandoned railroad tracks. I was delighted to see families out there walking or biking. In my area, this project will eventually become a 41-mile trail throughout the cities of Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach.
We walked on an unseasonably warm March Saturday, listening to birds calling and spring peepers...well, peep.
THIS spring peeper or chorus frog
Any adventure is not complete in my book until I find the abandoned house. Not far from the McMansion houses of over 4,000 square feet (which you can see to the far right in the top picture) was the quiet old farmhouse below.
You know what a McMansion is right? That's the ubiquitous new house with palladian windows and other fake details which I detest. I don't think you build them, you go into a planned development and have them Super Size it as you pass through the drive through. They are over-sized, soul-less, take up too many resources, and just generally annoy me. McMansion
How can you tell if a house is a McMansion? They end up in a development with a made up name like The Myrtles at Hatton Point or some such. Then, you'll notice that all the street names are cutely coined by marketers who find some tie in with the development's name.
My mother has lived on "Balmoral Trace" and "Winster Fax." Seriously? My sister once lived in the "Cool Amber Forest." Aren't forests green? My favorite made up marketing name of all time is "Tarleton Bivouac" in Williamsburg, VA. Try getting a pizza delivered there! What happened to Main, Elm, Oak, or Maple Street?
The end of the trail landed us in Driver, Virginia, a small, quaint hamlet in the larger town of Suffolk. We found this farm stand:
I bought hydroponically-grown tomatoes from nearby Southampton County from this pile:
They tasted divine.