I Hear the Train Coming
Depending on where you hike in the Sierras, you may at some point cross the Central Pacific Railway, built in the 1860's. Every time I do, I think about the amazing Chinese laborers who built this section through the Sierras. They were paid just about $28 per month to do the incredibly dangerous blasting and tie-laying work nobody else wanted to do. Imagine, if you will, laying tracks over terrain that rises 7,000 feet in 100 miles. Using techniques they used in China for similar situations, they were lowered by ropes from the top of cliffs in baskets, and while suspended, chipped away at the granite and planted explosives that blasted the tunnels. They had to house themselves, cook for themselves and oh, by the way - did a fantastic job. You can imagine how many died in the process.
I think of them - and thank them - every time I step over these tracks in the mountains I love so much.
Railroads to me means travel, adventures, explorations, new horizons. Where is your road taking you next?
©Karen Hutton - Creative Commons (CC BY-NC 3.0)