Wednesday, March 3, 2010

whisper of silk

the march wind
along the iron horse trail
a whisper of silk

. . . . . . . . .

Encountering mile post 2,135 on a trail is enough to give one pause. Looking more closely, it says "Chicago" and the penny drops as to why this is the "Iron Horse Trail," with moss-covered piles of old railroad ties in a couple of places.

Yet more fascinating is the story, displayed at the trail head, of the silk trains that ran in the early 1900s out of Seattle to Chicago and points east. These were trains with special compartments, given priority ahead of every other train on the tracks and run at high speed with only shift and fuel changes to transport the perishable raw silk to market. To the tune of $450 million in 1928. I think that's a gazillion in today's dollars. Who Knew Fact #1,307.

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