This evening, two hours before sunset, we drove back out to the tracks of the old abandoned trains. There are technically two parts, on the same track. One is pretty close to someones driveway and closer to the road and one is far from the road and all alone.
Last time I shared photos, it was of the train that is near someone's driveway. The one we explored tonight was not that one. Haha. I didn't know how difficult it was actually going to be to get to it until we started walking.
The track is very overgrown. Years and years worth of weeds and plants and branches and bugs.
It looked okay for a while. Stumbling over flowering weeds and taking pictures at the same time for about 30 feet had me realize that I wasn't going to get to the train very fast.
After photographing that flower, I looked up and saw what was ahead....
I put the camera away in order to walk though that nonsense!! It was taller than waist high, and there's train track under that, so we stumbled the whole way there. I was praying that nothing was poisonous.
Finally, we reached the train. I didn't know if or how I was going to get up inside there.
There was no ladder and the platform was about chest level, so climbing up would have been hard if I was alone. Luckily I had Evan to give me a boost.
I walked in slowly and carefully, being very quiet just in case I needed to hear what was happening around me (bees or other living things!).
I'm making an assumption that before the track was so overgrown, this train may have housed a homeless person or two. Things in separate piles, like these bottles collected in this one area, seem like a clue.
I am also making the assumption that the train closed down in the winter. There were two boxes of Christmas lights at the doorway when I entered. And, this lovely sign...
There's a birds nest on top of this wheel handle.
From this photo, you almost can't tell that the train is disgustingly gross!...
...Until you see this one... This is when I decided that there was a human or two living in here. The seat on the left that's cut out of the picture had a huge pile of... well, feces. It had to have been human, it was in such a neat pile.
I walked through three train cars. I think there were probably five or six total.
After this, I was close to entering car number four but I got nervous. I heard a clicking noise (or thought I did) and the next car looked different and more unstable. I started to feel the need to get out of there - almost like the way some psychic's feel in a haunted room that they need to leave. Bad energy.
I closed up my camera bag and quickly walked out. When I got back to the door, Evan said he was getting eaten alive by bugs out there. He wasn't exaggerating, either! His neck had bites all over it!!
We plowed back through the weeds and to the car.
Maybe we'll explore the next train in the winter.
I did a bit of research and discovered that this train is the Spirit of the Lakes train on the Iowa Northwestern Railroad. It used to be a Dinner Train and stopped running around 2002. That means we walked through 8 years of weeds. Sheesh.