Sunday, July 5, 2020
July 5, 2020 An Early Morning Hike in Thornton
After last night's artillery attack that lasted for hours in Lansing, I knew I had to get Nola outside early this morning. That poor dog is terrified of loud noises. I'll admit that today's hike is more for me than for the dogs. Although I don't think it matters to them where we hike as long as we go somewhere. This is where the hike ended. It just made sense for the sake of the story to start with this picture.
And if you've ever driven through Thornton, you know why I added this photo.
When we drove through my neighborhood at 6:15 this morning, there was a haze that smelled like gunpowder. But it was a beautiful morning in Thornton. We walked south on Williams Street from Margaret Street toward what is known locally as the Thornton Quarry. The actual quarry is just west and north of here. This is where they process the limestone. I've never been shy about my love of natural places or my love of our country's industrial places. The quarry is huge but lately, I rarely see any work being done when I drive by either the giant hole in the earth or the processing plant.
I've wanted to walk along here to take pictures for a long time. Since we have blue skies on this warm morning, I decided today was a good day for our hike. This Boz, yes the clown forced them to change the name years ago, probably lost a lot of business when work at the quarry slowed down.
So the Fun Bunch Three are ready for their Sunday Funday hike.
All I really know about this place is they mine limestone and use conveyor belts to move the rocks from the quarry to these buildings for processing.
I'm pretty sure these two couldn't care less about the buildings across the street.
At some point on this hike, I just started taking pictures to capture the interconnected lines from building to building.
The blue sky and low sun helped make the photos more interesting to me.
Sometimes walking by these immense structures can be awe-inspiring.
Vertical, horizontal and angled lines kept getting my attention.
If you've read my blog in the past, you know I love signs. This Francis cross street just goes to the lot on the east side of the road.
Already looking back at where we just walked to get a shot with the sun at a different angle.
I see these too often. I always stop and take a moment. I also stood the flowers up on the left.
My sunlit dogs near the crushed limestone piles.
Fun with shadows. Chrissy says it's just like Sheldon's Fun With Flags on the Big Bang Theory.
There are No Trespassing signs all over this area.
This being Sunday, I thought the shadow has a bit of religious symbolism to it.
South of the Hansen Thornton Quarry is Gallager Asphalt Corporation.
I love the old Steam Roller out front.
Somewhere near this place the street name changes to Indiana Avenue, I have no idea why. This is still in Thornton.
Another reason I came here early was so no one hassled me about taking pictures.
But Sunday morning on a holiday weekend, there was no activity at all.
This is a huge cemetery, but most graves are marked with flat tombstones. I'm not a fan of this type of graveyard. It just looks like a giant front lawn.
I keep taking these "sign of the times" pictures hoping they will be forgotten in the near future. But some days I wonder if they might be around for longer than we think.
The temperature is rising quickly. I was thinking of taking the bike trail to the train tracks and walking back on the tracks. But Nola's tongue hanging out makes me turn around here and head back.
Of course, I had to take a few pictures on the way back to the car.
It seems to me, these rock piles have been here for a long time. Maybe they restock them as needed.
I started singing a Bob Seger song to these two on the walk back.
"On a long and lonesome highway
East of Omaha
You can listen to the engine
Moanin' out his one-note song
You can think about the woman
Or the girl you knew the night before
But your thoughts will soon be wandering
The way they always do
When you're ridin' sixteen hours
And there's nothin' much to do
And you don't feel much like ridin',
You just wish the trip was through
Here I am
On the road again" - Turn The Page
They look like sand dunes to me in these photos.
Again I'm intrigued by the buildings and the angles of the conveyor belts connecting them.
They are moving rocks all over the place here.
They might not care about this place. Hell, there are no squirrels to chase and not many dogs walk this road so nothing to sniff and pee on. But they still stop when I ask them to stay so I can take a picture. That makes them good dogs to me.
Another beautiful morning for a hike. I hate to say it but we could use some rain. It's going to be in the '90s again today. It looks like a hot summer is here to stay.
Chicago Style Hot Dogs at Boz😉.
I hope I kept this interesting enough that you read down this far. As you probably know, the decline in our industrial cities is still occurring. There must be a way for us to retool these areas for future production here in America. It's almost the same plea I make about protecting our natural places. Not surprisingly, I'm interest in the history and the future of both.
If you are interested, ten years ago I did a tour of the Thornton Quarry. You can see my blog post for the tour here.