Lehigh Valley #8 - Low Pressure  LbNA # 25203

Placed DateJul 3 2006
LocationHoneoye Falls, NY
Planted Bydipperwhippers    
Found By emibird
Last Found May 21 2009
Hike Distance?

Clue to Lehigh Valley #8– Low Pressure:

Note to Letterboxer: The Lehigh Valley Trail, upon which this series is based, includes mile markers numbered from West to East. This series follows the mile markers (included in the titles) but in the opposite direction – from East to West. To follow the story properly, please read from the largest number (e.g., #12) to the smallest (e.g., #9).

Thursday August 31, 1911 – 10:15PM

To the passengers of the Black Diamond Express, the slowing "chuff" of the Sayre built 4-6-0 steamer was reminiscent of a train approaching the station. In fact, several people rose from their seats anticipating the approaching Rochester Junction station. But, to the experienced traveler, the straight section of track was at least 2 miles short of the destination.

In the Steamer's cab Engineer Fred Kirchgraber looked blankly out the window. Without changing his gaze he shouted out to his Fireman Johnny lux.

"I ain't gonna say it..."

"I know, 'You told me so... It's jus' the las' several runs we made this span with a li'll more than a bathtub’s worth of coal…"

"I know, I know... So what we gonna do Johnny?"
Johnny looked down at his callused black stained hands enveloping the worn wooden shovel handle, then glanced back into the empty coal car. When he looked up Fred gaze was bearing down on him with a knowing look.

"Oh, no..., oh, no...! We ain't feedin' ole Bessie no match sticks!"

"Well how do you suggest we get from here to there? Let the good folks get off and walk? Or, maybe you're thinkin' of gettin' off an’ pushin'?!"

“But she was jus’ cleaned an inspected at the Sayre yard last summer!”

“She ain’t gonna stay clean forever…Johnny!”

The Train had now slowed to walking speed as the engine lumbered across Quaker Meeting House Road. Without a word, the Fireman jumped out of the cab on the North side and ran forward 300 paces to a pile of old railroad ties 6 feet off the rail bed. He wrenched 3 splintered tie pieces from the pile, working quickly to place them in parallel rows 20 feet apart. As he pulled the fourth tie from the pile, its end caught a flat rock exposing a shinny surface that reflected the early evening moonlight.

“Huh? what’s that?!”

“Let’s go!” Fred called out pulling Johnny’s attention back to the task at hand. He shouldered the Tie and ran towards the approaching engine. reversing his direction he matched his forward speed to that of the moving train and slid the tie onto the cab deck. As he moved forward he bent to pickup each successive tie and heave it onto the deck. In the cab, Fred stepped on the firebox gate control and threw the tie in. Because of its length and the short depth of the firebox, the end of the tie protruded and the gate complained with a “clang” as it tried to shutter across the protruding timber. With the three remaining ties on board, Johnny climbed aboard and shook his head in disgust.

“Let me do that! My goodness, you couldn’t feed your own mother proper!”

Sheepishly, Fred returned to the operating controls. Johnny stepped on the gate control and used a short stick of wood to catch it as it arced open - propping it in its fully opened position. He threw a second tie along side the first. He then adjusted the dampener control and the creosote soaked timbers burst into flames.

Both men held their breath, their eyes on the boiler pressure gage. Slowly the needle inched up - the engine maintaining a slow but steady pace forward. They had just crossed the Clover Road intersection. The Rochester Junction station was just around the bend. White smiles stretched across their blackened faces.


- or scroll down for directions -

Directions: Park at the intersection of Quaker Meeting House Road and the Lehigh Valley Trail (find a map at http://www.monroecounty.gov/documentView.asp?docID=3160 ). Start at the round post (prevents motor vehicle access to the trail) on the West Side of Quaker Meeting House Road. Walk West towards Clover Street. Look for the green “8” mile marker sign on the south side of the trail (approximately 240 steps from the post). Continue West for 131 steps past the Mile Marker. Here I define a step is a single stride for a 5’-6” man – not to be confused with a pace which is two steps. Look in the bank along the right side of the railbed for signs of a pile of old railroad ties. Look within the ties for the letterbox.

Please replace the box exactly as you find it.

Happy Hunting!

Letterbox GPS Location: N42Deg59.319’/W77Deg32.456’