Back to Bechtol (map!)

We began the day’s exploration by taking a brief look around Treaster Kettle Rd at the big zig-zag near Reichley Trail. The gnats were bad and things didn’t appear promising, so we moved on.

Next we visited the extreme end of Bechtol Rd, where it enters private land. Walking back towards Thickhead Mtn Rd, I examined the curious scrap curving uphill into Bechtol Gap (see 9/2/07). It sure seems to have tie depressions. I then followed the road, looking for anything on the other side. Sure enough, I quickly found a fairly good trace, complete with tie depressions. Consulation with Vince and “the device” showed it headed towards that last survey. Did we miss a diverging branch during that survey?

We headed out along this new track, crashing through lots of Mt Laurel, periodically assured of our route by rock ballasting. Eventually we reached a modest clearing and intersected our previous survey where we had thought it turned to road. Oops. It appears we lost our way at this point during that survey. It is possible the road we were following was a track into Bechtol Gap, but also possible it was not. We will delete that section of the previous survey.

We returned to the road and the stream down Bechtol Gap. Following the stream, we watched closely for signs that the railroad went that way. Unfortunately, there really aren’t any. We did find a rock-edged “ramp” steeply departing the stream, but it seems to go nowhere and is a bit too steep even for a geared locomotive. Continuing downstream, I was blessed with an encounter with several yellow jackets, which diminished my enthusiasm. I made a quick excursion up the SW hillside, while Vince continued downstream and then up onto the SW hillside. We found nothing, which appears to conclude that Bechtol Gap (at least the lower portion) is–finally!–a bust.

We will have to examine the upper reaches of the gap, where that curious scrap ends, to try to figure out how the railroaders escaped from Thickhead Mtn and its unfriendly stinging insects. Stay tuned!

Corrected route crossing Bechtol Rd

Project Status

  • daily contributions: 0.4 miles
  • daily deletions: 0.06 miles
  • survey total: 24.48 miles

Just for the heck of it…

  • believed under road: 13.81 miles
  • grand total: 38.29 miles