Turkey Day Eve Hike

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on November 25, 2009

On the day before Thanksgiving, there was a beltway hike. The adventure started at Ashby Marta Station, and went to the West End Station. It was a lovely late fall afternoon, without the rain and extreme heat that plagued earlier hikes.

For those with short memories, the beltway is a proposed series of hiking/biking paths and light rail. It is 22 miles long, and will go in a circle around the center of Atlanta. The beltway is in a preliminary stage currently, but is making serious progress.

Starting at the station, just a few minutes after noon, the first six hikers moved down Lena Street towards the beltway site. Walking past some recently built homes, a seventh hiker joined the crew, and completed the personnel. After a few minutes, the beltway corridor came into view. The original plan was to go left, towards West End. However, on the other side of the street was a recently cleared section of the beltway, and the crew went that way. The former rail line was a old, old freight line, that was in place before the neighborhoods were built.

The first part of the hike went right from Lena Street, until it turned into a tiny path through kudzu. The Marta west line was in the valley below the kudzu. How the paths on the two sides of the Marta lines will connect is one of the issues to be determined.

The crew turned around, and proceeded through recently turned over earth. The trees and vines were lovely. Many of the neighborhoods were built while the train line was in operation, and have been separated by this rail corridor. When the beltway is built, these neighborhoods will be connected.

The first two underpasses came along after a while. Westview Drive and I-20 were modern looking concrete structures. Neither one had any graffiti, which was quite a contrast to I-75 and Freedom Parkway. Next to I-20 was a triangle of wild land, slated to become a park.

The rail path continued its flat way a bit further, until the Lucille Street tunnel loomed in the distance. Some men were working at the tunnel entrance clearing brush, and there was some doubt as to whether the hike could continue there. After talking to the workers, the crew went through the tunnel. The Lucille Street tunnel did have some classic graffiti, with the deterioration of time adding a layer to the old paint.

After Lucille Street, the path got rough. Briers, thorns, and vines made the going tough. PG wondered how the slacks and argyle sweater of one hiker was holding up.

PG has an internet buddy with an intense appreciation of argyle. This was discussed with the hiker, who did not want his face to appear in this account. PG wanted a picture of the sweater, and mentioned his friend’s love of argyle. The hiker replied ” What’s argyle?”

After struggling with nature for a few minutes, a decision was made to move the hike up to Muse Street. A few minutes later, the hikers were in front of the Kroger in West End. A decision was made to find a way down to the beltway corridor, and look at the tunnel under Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard. More vintage graffiti awaited the hikers. The return to street grade was over a dead kudzu covered hill, and involved some careful stepping.

At this point, the rail corridor goes behind some warehouses, and becomes too narrow to support a pathway. The beltway moves up to street level, and a wide hike/bike path is in place. This path runs along White Street down to Whitehall Street. After a few blocks, there was a crossing for Joseph A. Lowery Boulevard. ( Which was formerly Ashby Street. Whenever the city renames a street the new name is always much longer than the old one). Lowery Boulevard is where the Ashby Marta Station is, a few miles due north of where the hikers stood.

The last landmark of the day was Brown Middle School. The gym was a lookalike for the gym at Cross Keys. There is a bit of land beside the school which is becoming a low maintenance park. The only thing left to do was walk down to Lee Street, take a left, and find the Marta West End Station.

2 Responses

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  1. Last Of The Beltline « Chamblee54 said, on December 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    […] Led by Angel) went through another tunnel, and went down a walkway that is 500 percent better than the last time PG went through here . Another tunnel, under Lucille Street, had an art installation at it’s entrance. The trail […]

  2. The Angel Story | Chamblee54 said, on July 9, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    […] eight of these walks, covering the complete loop around the city core. (071109, 073109, 111109, 112509, 012310, 022010, 112810, 120210) The spell check suggestion for beltline is beeline. While […]

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