Monday, April 28, 2008

Whistle posts and the other kind

In a comment to last Wednesday's post, Yury asked what a wayside post with an R means. Posts marked W are whistle posts, cuing the engine driver to signal as he nears a crossing. I'm asking about the R posts on a couple of railfan sites, with no results yet. Anybody here have a theory?

The whistle post shown below is one of two on the outbound side of the trail less than half a mile from the Bedford end at South Road. The R post is on the outbound side as the trail parallels Valley Road in Lexington, about one-third of a mile from the bridge over I-95 / Mass 128. [Update: The post is exactly 2000 feet from the bridge, as nearly as I can measure with the Gmaps Pedometer. That round number makes me think they're related.]

Whistle post in Bedford, approaching South Road

R post near Valley Road in Lexington

Today: 13 miles. This year: 154.3 miles.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I put on new wheels and new bearings from Inline Warehouse yesterday. I expected them to feel faster than the old ones and wasn't disappointed. The surprise was how much smoother the ride is. The new wheels are the same as my previous ones, so it must be the bearings.

Yesterday: 14 miles. This year: 141.3 miles.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Does it pay to advertise?

Today I chalked this blog's URL on the trail at the Hurd Field and Bedford Depot entrances in hope of lifting my audience out of the single digits. If you're here because you saw my graffiti, please read The Beginning and join in with your comments. Welcome aboard.

Blogvertising at the Hurd Field Entrance

Construction at the Lexington DPW

Today: 13 miles. This year 92.8 miles.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Swimming to Antarctica

No, not me -- I won't go in the water north of Cape Cod. Swimming to Antarctica is the autobiography of Lynne Cox, a long-distance swimmer with an amazing history of firsts and records. The prose is, well, prosaic, but the story is thrilling. It's a good book for anyone interested in adventure or individual achievement in sports.

Today: 13 miles. This year: 57.8 miles.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

+1 Woodchuck

I spotted a woodchuck down the bank in the wetlands near Hartwell Avenue, the first I've seen along the trail. He's impressively well camouflaged in this habitat and doesn't stand out like the one that's on my front steps occasionally. This one has a hole in the bank between those fallen trees. Doubtless he's sapping the trail from below and it'll all collapse in twenty years.

Woodchuck near Hartwell Avenue, Lexington

Semaphore signal in Bedford

Yesterday: 14.6 miles. This year: 44.8 miles.