Sunday, March 6, 2016

North Carolina Red dirt (clay)

I Put this entry on hours ago and it does not go to Blogger.

NC is blessed or cursed with red soil.  When it is dry it becomes so hard you can drive nails in it.  I have driven nails and stretched string for the back hoe to dig footers for a house. The nails had to be pulled out with a hammer.

When it is wet it is slick as grease and will RUIN anything made of white cloth.  A red bank is great to pour water on and slide down it.  Just the other day we saw about 5 boys planning in the RED mud, knowing some parents are gonna be UPSET!
White clothes and red mud

Folks do grow stuff in this soil.  Cotton used to grow as well as tobacco.  Not much of either anymore with the foreign input and health hazards.

(This is not a great picture of the crossing)

When walking here we cross a main rail road track and a spur line.  The Spur line is where we met Joe on our walk.  The spur line was built in 1955/56.  It is used to haul coal to Plant Allen, a Duke power plant.

At that time I owned a 1948 Chevy and my friend Bill Muse owned a 1950 Studebaker. Bill spotted this exact crossing when the bed had just been put in. It was about 40 feet wide RED DIRT hard and dusty. No rails or cross ties laid. Bill found me and challenged me to a race. Till Bill passed away we never agreed on who won or who quit first. That was lost in all the fun.

But with no one around us two had a ball, drag racing and flat out racing on that soon to be Spur line RR bed.  I think of Bill each time Sherry and I walk across those tracks.

Nite Shipslog

PS:  The older I get the more memories mean to me.


The '50 Stud. I always joked with Bill, "I couldn't tell were you were coming or going."

This could easily be a road in NC in times past. (some places now)


betty said...

I wouldn't have thought that soil like this was in North Carolina; it is good though that it was conducive at one point at least to grow some crops.


Lisa said...

The red mud also made great mud pies!!!
I remember green clay. We would actually dig it up and play with it. Still have it here near crowders Mtn. But yes you are right you can build a house with NC red clay mud.

Enjoy the memories

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Those kinds of memories do mean a lot. A good friend is a treasure for sure.

Paula said...

Interesting that you could actually drive a nail into the clay.