Saturday, August 1, 2009

Birthday Outing

Seeing as how August 1st is the birthday of the patriarch of the L4T household, I pretty much got to decide what activities went on today. After a morning of cleaning up some photos from last summer and adding them to my Flickr photostream, I mowed the lawn and conferred with Mrs. L4T about where we should go tonight. She said it was totally up to me, and after a bit of though I decided we would head west. It's been a while since I got any shots in the Lake Park and Hawley area and I could see at least three westbounds should pass through in the late afternoon/early evening.

After a quick early supper at the KFC in DL it was off to Mt. Muller. I decide to shoot the first westbound here, and to try a wide angle shot. Turns out I went really wide, and I'm not overly thrilled with the results. I was trying to include as much of the train as possible but without some compression you can hardly see the back end anyway. Oh well, live and learn.

I figured the next train couldn't be too far behind. Turns out the wait was a little longer than I expected. I contemplated this shot from the Highway 32 bridge and the first wood bridge to the west. I have shot those locations a number of times, though, and I wanted to try something new for me. That led me to the second wood bridge west of 32. I shot a manifest right down the trench. Sadly, some high cirrus moved in for the period of time the train was within a reasonable distance, so the shot doesn't have any pop.

I suspected the third train was a coal empty that I had seen come off the Brainerd on ATCS earlier. I ran back to the Highway 32 bridge to shoot him. There are a lot of wires if you shoot from the bridge, so I made it a little ways down the embankment on the north side to avoid them. The result was a little different angle on this shot.

Now that one is likely a keeper. As you can see the clouds had quickly cleared out after the second train passed. The MAC isn't too rough looking and the rain we have had recently has kept things pretty green in that area. I was pretty pleased with this shot.

We decided to head for home, and sure enough, just as we passed the Burger King in DL another coal empty showed up. I just didn't have the gumption to give chase, even though the power was a nice pair of ACe's set up 1 x 1. He was rolling along pretty good and the stoplights were not doing me any favors. I figured I would not catch him until past Lake Park so let him go.

Mrs. L4T was great company as she always is on these railfan expeditions. I got a few looks at a gorgeous sunset in the rear view mirror as we made it to Wadena. All in all, a great outing. A little train traffic, some photo ops, pleasant company, and nice scenery. What more could you ask for on your birthday?


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