Nathan finds some of his spikes buried in the underbrush near Salmonberry Creek in Oregon, remnants of the old Tillamook Bay Railroad. Built between 1906 and 1911, the Tillamook stretched from the Oregon Coast Range mountains through Portland to the Pacific Ocean at Tillamook Bay.
It carried lumber and farm goods through the area, but a series of storms in the late 1990s severely damaged part of the line.
Despite significant repairs, one of Oregon’s famous December storms, the Great Coastal Gale, collapsed the railroad’s bridges, eroded away the ground under the rails, and severely damaged tunnels.
Repair costs were too high in the mountains, so much of the Tillamook was shut down.
You can still ride it along the coast, but the mountain end of the line is in pretty sad shape (see the pictures). Its spikes are scattered throughout the nearby forest, and those marked with an X are high carbon steel, and well-suited for knife and tool-making.