Sunday, November 17, 2019

Extending the Dick & Willie

Sure, it's an amusing nickname: "Dick & Willie" refers to the old Danville and Western railway that used to run through Martinsville. The tracks were taken up several years ago, and now the Dick & Willie Rail Trail uses those old rail beds to traverse Martinsville, VA. Since 2008, the trail has run about four and a half miles, from Commonwealth Blvd. at the northwest end to a point just north of Spruce St., east of town. After many months of work, a new, two-and-a-half-mile trail extension leads to the Smith River Sports Complex, at Martinsville's easternmost corner. This puts the trail very close to my old neighborhood, and since I'm at the homeplace frequently, I went out yesterday to properly inaugurate the trail extension with several geocaches.

I put out four yesterday, all on the leg that runs from the end of Country Club Drive (the stories I have from that place!) to the sports complex. One ammo can (Country Club View); a medium-size Tupperware container (Dick & Willie Rocks); a small, camouflaged jar (Dick & Willie: The Hole Thing); and a wee little bison tube (Dameron's Disaster). They're out there, already published at, and all found exactly once so far — by fellow geocacher tbbiker (a.k.a. Todd). I hope these caches, and other new ones yet to come out, will entice lots of geocachers in the area to pay Martinsville a visit.

I did manage to cut my finger pretty good while placing one of the containers. Just call me Captain Klutz.

As a youngster, I spent a fair amount of time back in those woods behind Country Club Drive. In my teens, several friends and I would on occasion go camping there (and possibly drinking things other than water from the Smith River). At one time, a sewer line and utility road went back where the trail now leads. Although one wasn't supposed to, one could, if so minded, drive a car back down into the woods and cross a very narrow, earthen bridge over one of the creeks. When I say narrow, I'm talking a couple of inches clearance on either side. I think it was during my first year of college that friends (whom, for the purposes of this account, I shall call Johannes, Ramon, and Keebler) and I all drove back there to camp out overnight. When we saw that little land bridge, we had our doubts about proceeding any further. But Johannes resolved to drive across that treacherous space in his powder blue Ford Maverick. And he up and did it — successfully. Whew! So I figured that if Johannes could do it in a Maverick, I could do it in my little mustard yellow Toyota Corolla. Well, yes, I did it, with Ramon in the car with me. It was hairy, to be sure. Then it was Keebler's turn. He came roaring down the hill, hit the bridge, and... woops! BOOM! His little green whatever-it-was slid and toppled partway over the edge. What a disaster! Now, he was fine, and I don't think the car suffered too much damage... but it did require a tow truck to pull that vehicle out of there. I sure hate to think of the aftermath for poor Keebler. It couldn't have been pretty.

Anyway, there is now a geocache out there, at that exact location, commemorating the event.

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