Friday, March 26, 2010

More Missabe

On Wednesday afternoon, I had to leave Hibbing for the Metro area. Since I had no deadline of when to arrive, CR 7 seemed to be a good alternative to Highway 53. The sun was out and it was beautiful afternoon.

As I approached Forbes I could see loaded cars moving west. For a minute I wondered why a T-bird train would be moving away from the plant while loaded. It took me a bit to realize I had lucked into United Tac loads headed for the docks.

I was quickly able to get ahead of the loaded train, powered by a matched set of tunnel motor units. I don't know the place names, but here's the shot of the train as it rolls south.

Even though it was a pleasant afternoon, the pellets were still giving off a wisp of steam as the train passed. I stopped and shot him a couple of more times as we traveled south together. Then all of a sudden, I noticed my low gas light was on. Out in the middle of nowhere. I decided my best chance of making civilization was to head for Meadowlands, so I left my lucky train and struck out west.

I made it to town and found the only gas pump was at what appeared to be an abandoned gas station. Something moved me to pull in anyway, and a sign taped to the window pointed me to the brown house with a green roof, to the right. Before I could even find the house, the friendly pump jockey came out and asked if I needed something. What a relief! I was running on vapor. With only $13 cash to my name, I bought all I could afford, thanked my rescuer after a pleasant visit about the upcoming Empire Builder trip he and his wife had scheduled, and continued my journey. Next thing you know, I was on Highway 53 at Independence. After a short jaunt down MN 33, I spotted the tail end of my loaded train disappearing as I crossed the tracks. A quick about-face and I was off again. This was all new territory to me, down Saginaw road and Highway 2 to Proctor. I snapped off a couple of poorly lit photos on the drive, and wound up the day's fanning with a shot off the overpass at the end of the Proctor yard. Limestone was stage to head north.

After topping off my tank at the Proctor Holiday station, it was on to I-35 for the rest of the trip. I spotted what looked like a northbound empty all rail some miles down the interstate but didn't even think about chasing, since there was no exit nearby. So, these two shots are all I have to offer from my trip down the Missabe.

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