Road Trips

A visit to the sycamores

Margaret and I recently took a mini road trip up the Michigan Road. We made it as far as Logansport, where we had dinner and then headed back. But on the way up we stopped to see Sycamore Row.

Sycamore Row

It’s always grand to see these old trees, even if the story on the historic sign might be more legend than fact. Nobody knows for sure why these trees are here.

Sycamore Row

But we’re glad they are. We’re also glad that new sycamores are occasionally planted. Historic photos of Sycamore Row show many, many more sycamores here than there are now.

Sycamore Row

To me, late autumn is the best time to see these trees as it makes their jagged and knurled branches visible.

Sycamore Row

This old alignment ends at Deer Creek. A steel truss bridge carried this alignment over the creek here until 1987, when a new alignment was built several feet to the east. Locals above a certain age remember how harrowing it was to encounter an oncoming semi in here.

Sycamore Row

Turning around for a look back, you can see how the Michigan Road used to flow directly from this road segment. 

Sycamore Row

Canon PowerShot S95

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19 thoughts on “A visit to the sycamores

  1. There is a great stand of Arizona Sycamores along a creek in southern New Mexico that I used to visit every year after the leaves had fallen. The morning light on the smooth white bark was really spectacular. I don’t get down that way any more, but there are a few plantings around Albuquerque including some trees at the local art museum that remind me of visits to that creek in the south.

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    • Oh that’s super cool. I wish this had always been a thing. I remember when my college remodeled its old main building in the 80s and just hauled out dumpsters full of great old material. Broke my heart even then.

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  2. Matt Mullen says:

    Great post. Had this been a two lane road before the realignment? And if so, were both lanes able to handle two way traffic simultaneously? With those trees right there, too…

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    • Yes, this was a two-lane road. It was suuuuuuuper tight for two oncoming trucks. The pavement used to stretch all the way to the trees and I guess it was common for large vehicles to lose side mirrors against them.

      Photo from when it was still in use as the highway:

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  3. Good to see they have survived. When I was a kid we used to visit the Dark Hedges in County Antrim. Same idea but in Beech rather than Sycamore planted in 1775. Then Game of Thrones used it for a backdrop in some of the episodes and it became a tourist attraction. Now the road has been closed since the GoT tourist industry drove so much traffic to the area that it was damaging the roots of the trees. Your road looks like it’s traffic free so hopefully the trees will thrive.

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  4. susanJOY Hosken says:

    Jim, love this post about the trees. I love trees and have many photos of them over the years. I’m now wanting to collect door photos and gate photos. I must track down the cathedral doors photo you made recently

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