There Must Be Magic

By GirlWithACamera

Abandoned PA: Lime Kilns at Canoe Creek

My husband and I had a pair of grand adventures on this day, and I took lots of pictures. We visited Canoe Creek State Park and hiked parts of several trails, and saw the abandoned lime kilns. And after that, we hiked part of the nearby Lower Trail, which we hadn't visited in quite a while.

At Canoe Creek State Park, we focused on the Limestone Trail, which leads to the abandoned lime kilns depicted above. It's an easy hike and the kilns are about a mile from the parking lot. The kilns look like ancient temples rising out of the PA woods. You may read more here. For the history, I think it's easiest if I just share the information from the park brochure which I am holding in my hand:

"The historic Blair Limestone Company Kiln remnants at Canoe Creek State Park showcase the operation of processing limestone during the early 1900s. The Petersburg spur of the PA Railroad traveled through what is now Canoe Creek State Park to connect the lime kilns with the outside world. Limestone was an important raw material for the iron and steel industry that was booming in PA at the time. The Blair Limestone Company was a subsidiary of Jones and Laughlin Steel Company of Pittsburgh, to which it provided quicklime for making steel."

Then we hit the Lower Trail on the way home, and it was pretty much deserted and green! The last time we were there was early last May, when I suffered a catastrophic memory card disaster and lost all of my photos; I was upset that I ended up showing you a male cardinal for that day instead of the underwater snapping turtle ballet that I witnessed.

Well, to wax philosophical, isn't life just one step after another of trying to get back those things you've lost? So in the interests of restoring balance to the force, in the extras, you may see a snapping turtle, that ancient reptile, lounging along the Lower Trail.

I'd be showing you a photo of a much larger snapping turtle, but the big turtle did a mind scramble on me. I looked, saw something huge and round and muddy along the bank, presumed it was a rock or a piece of garbage, and turned away without a shot. Why, oh why? I FELL for that rock bit. I really did!

Of course, the next thing I heard and saw was the huge "rock" that was not a rock after all, but one of the biggest snappers I've ever seen, sliding its huge, hoary body back into the water! Well, I've gotta admit it: You got me this time, turtle!  :-)

My soundtrack song is for the steel mills where the quicklime was sent after it was processed at these kilns. I know they said it went to Pittsburgh (PA), not Youngstown (OH), but I love this song so much that it's gotta be this one: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, with Youngstown.

This is the best version ever, by the way: the live version from Madison Square Garden in 2000. Yes, I saw them on that tour, though not in MSG, and it was absolutely THE performance of a LIFETIME.
Rock on, Bruce.
Rock on, E Streeters.
Rock on, Nils, with that amazing guitar solo!
Rock on, abandoned lime kilns that helped make the steel.
Rock on, ancient reptile.

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