Solomon Railroad

Kelsey Breseman
8 min readJun 4, 2021

When I woke up this morning, it was Not Raining! I refrained from further exclamation points to spare you, but reader, everything that's not wet is damp. We need a rain break.

Rick and Ryan were similarly bolstered by the just-okay weather, and so we decided to execute on our most ambitious hike of this trip: Solomon Railroad, a long spur you can see from the water that ramps all the way down from mid-mountain to a series of trailing bumps that curl around Fish Lake. We'd been saving this for a dry day, because the hill looked very steep, the woods very wet, and the terrain uncertain.

Planning for an eight or nine hour hike, we fished into our totes for Greenbelly meal bars, granola bars, chickpea snacks, dried veggies, and packages of olives and salmon in oil.

I eat a lot ordinarily, but when I'm doing something physical, I go through a shocking number of calories. My body is very clear with me: hunger is a Right Now problem, probably at least once an hour. The consequences are mood-based, and dire.

The general schema of the hike: boat to a point on shore close to where the Railroad meets the mountain. Hike inward, expecting rough terrain, on a compass bearing. Hike upward, about 300m all at once. Arrive at the flat top of the Railroad and make a leisurely all-day descent, then hike back on the beach.

The "hike inward" part went as expected, though there were some unmapped water features and pretty substantial hills also uncaptured on our large-scale map. "Hike upward" actually went swimmingly: faster than expected and through fairly clear bush, though it was exhausting. Our first surprise came upon reaching the Railroad.

On the map, the Railroad looks like a big flat spur. But when we arrived (no view, inside a heavy cloud), we found a ridge just big enough for one bear trail.

The bear trail was great. But it quickly disappeared, bears presumably abandoing the Railroad, because the whole thing was covered…