Sunday, July 18, 2010

A "Flurry" of Activity

There's a place in Wadena called the Fresh Freeze, as in "Wadena's original Fresh Freeze". They do ice cream better than the Dairy Queen. In place of the frozen treat that DQ calls a Blizzard, the Fresh Freeze offers something called a Flurry, and for a limited time they have a Kit-Kat Flurry available. It's a special treat, sort of like a little of the action BNSF sent our way this evening.

Mrs. L4T and I had a few errands to run in Brainerd this afternoon, and on the way home we debated where we should take sustenance this evening. We finally settled on Subway. When the time came to head uptown, I checked in on the ATCS display and noted a couple of westbounds holding in sidings on the single track section of the Staples Sub. Then at the last minute, another westbound showed up, between Wadena and Dower Lake. I may have been a bit rude as I tried to speed up the Mrs. in getting out to the car. She wondered what all the fuss was about, and I told her a train was on the way. Just as we neared the Jefferson Street crossing, the arms came down for an eastbound loaded DEEX train. I swung over to the west of the depot in case the DPU was facing the sun, and sure enough, it was:

You can see there were some young fans at the depot, watching trains pass from behind the fence.

As the DPU cleared the crossing, I checked for a headlight on Main One, and sure enough, here came the train. This one looks like empty oil cans headed back for a reload in western North Dakota. Young railfans were still on the lookout.

With no other westbounds showing for some time, we grabbed supper at Subway and ate in the shade at the depot. After that was done, the time for a Flurry had arrived, and I took ownership of a Kit-Kat special edition. I highly recommend this dish to any travelers passing through Wadena. It is hard on a diet, though.

With the westbounds getting closer, the time had arrived to pick a photo location. I decided to set up at the Bluffton curve, with the thought of chasing whatever showed up west. This plan was only partially successful, as a giant cloud decided to take residence between the sun and I just as the train arrived. But seeing as how the cloud was moving, and the train was an interesting 108 axle "Slot Machine", we decided to run him down for a shot at the overpass between Mills and Perham. Here you go:

By this time I could see the last westbound of the "flurry", such as it was, was passing though Staples, so maybe another chance at the Bluffton curve was in the offing. Sure enough, his headlight appeared just as I walked up to the crossing. The wait for this shot was less than a minute:

And then, once more as he passed me by in lovely light conditions:

So, all in all, a successful outing. We saw a train or two that we didn't shoot, along with the four shown here. Had a pleasant drive from Wadena almost to Perham and back, and a nice visit with Mrs. L4T. And to top it all off, the Flurry I got from the Fresh Freeze was as good a confection as I have enjoyed in the last couple of years. It was worth leaving my developing empire in the basement for this trip, that's for sure!


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