Way back on a late January Sunday I get a text from Jer: "Got a fleet of Westbounds headed your way assuming you're home." After replying that I might have to check that out, he comes back with this gem: "I bet there's at least 10." Me: "WHAT????" Oh, he had it all figured out, with one each at Randall, Gregory, Little Falls, St. Cloud, and finally at MP 66. Then he threw in, for good measure I guess, "Might be three or so in TWC." Heck, he could have been dispatching the entire sub.
So now you have the background on how I happened to wind up in Bluffton for a few minutes that afternoon, just a-waiting for some trains to show up. I know this gets old but I saw the first headlight when I crossed the tracks in Wadena, and only had to wait 5 or 10 minutes at Bluffton for a string of tanks behind some fairly nice looking GE's.
I knew there was a train pretty close to his block, so I stuck around for one more. This time the power was not as nice, and the cars were a lot more varied.
The clouds moved in fast, so I gave up after these two. There was something extra fun about catching a train that a fellow railfan had given you a heads-up on, though.
As much as I like trains, real and pretend, and taking pictures of both kinds, the enjoyment is multiplied when people who share your interest can take any part in the outings. I've explained in the past that the people are what make Verndale Rail special for me. We only get one chance a year to do that, but there are lots of other chances to get out with another fan, or share information like Jer and a lot of other OMR members are so willing to do. While these might not be as exciting as the big show in June, they still add a huge amount of enjoyment to the hobby. So thanks to all of you who call, or email, or post, or text heads-up alerts on rail action in the area. We might not always be able to make use of the intelligence but the times we can make it all worth it.
Note: it's even fun when the news is that there will likely be no trains that day! Yes, you know who you are.