Beltline Saturday

Posted in Uncategorized by chamblee54 on January 23, 2010

PG started the day by driving to the Bankhead Marta Station. The idea was to leave a car there, and take people back to the starting point at Ansley Mall. Eventually, other people showed.

The walk started at the bridge, over the rail lines, on Piedmont Road. A few steps down a steep, muddy hill, and you were on the beltline. One man said the bridge over Piedmont had the highest concentration of quality graffiti in the city. PG listened to a few minutes of talk about graffiti, and learned a few things. The question remains unanswered, where is the best quality graffiti in Atlanta ?

PG had been on these tracks last July, when it was an impassible mess of kudzu. Today, it was piles of railroad ties, line, and paraphernalia. The ground around this material was chopped up and muddy, and not at all pleasant to walk on.

The 25 hikers ( 24 humans and one dog) went past the Ansley Golf Club, and took a right at a Y in the tracks. An old bridge, in good condition, went over the old I 85. The newer I 85 was next to that, and a tunnel took the hikers beneath it. The path soon turned right onto an active Norfolk Southern line. The hikers walked on the granite shoulder of this line, between a Marta line and an industrial district.

Before long, Peachtree Creek was in front of the crew, along with an abandoned CSX line fifty feet below. This is the next stage of the beltline. One of the problems facing the beltline is how to connect sections, like the one beside the Ansley Golf Club, to the old CSX line beside Peachtree creek.

The next stage of the walk was a pleasant change from the concrete plants on the NS line. On the south side was a swamp, and on the north side was the back of upscale houses. Before long, Peachtree Road was overhead, and the crew took a break. The day was dry and overcast, with a wind keeping the temperatures down. PG took gloves, scarf, hat and layers, and used all of them.

The next excellent adventure came at the Tanyard creek overpass. The trestle is roughly 100 feet over the creek below. Several hikers, with more energy than PG, climbed down the hill, found a way across the creek, and climbed back up the hill.

On a previous hike on this territory, the route had gone through a very long tunnel. The group leader was informed that this territory was still the property of the railroads, and they did not appreciate the presence of hikers. A different route was used for the last part of the walk today.

After going under Huff Road, the rail line ran into a major rail artery…the one the tunnel had gone under. Today, the hike went across this artery, up a hill, and through a broken fence. The fence was in back of a parking lot for an adult video store. The hikers resisted the temptation to go inside, and went down sidewalks for about a mile.

Soon, a branch of rail line crossed the sidewalk, and the hikers turned right onto this line. There was a delay at the end of the first line, as a very slow freight train moved by. One time conscious hiker said that if we had been on schedule, we would have crossed that line before the slow moving freight train…which was headed for the tunnel.

PG was getting weary, and his knees and ankles were protesting every step. A path went through a wooded area, spotted with homeless shelters. One of the residents talked about how he used to live in the village…PG assumes this was a New York thing. The parking lot behind the Marta station came into site, and PG saw his car, with no broken glass. It was what he wanted to see.

2 Responses

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  1. Audj said, on January 25, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Brilliant! I shall happily share your adventurous account. And for a brief musical jaunt check out:

    Have a superfine day!

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

    […] 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 listening […]

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