Saturday and Sunday last weekend the Daylight made a round trip between Portland and Bend. I, along with many other railfans, spent the day searching for great photos of this beautiful locomotive and passenger train. Knowing the train would move quickly up the Columbia River gorge I planned my first couple of photo locations carefully. My first location would be as the train crossed the Willamette River draw bridge. From there I would have to cross the Columbia River and get ahead of the train with enough time to get set up. My second planned photo was 80 miles later between Bingen and Lyle. I arrived with about 10 minutes to spare.
After that I headed into the Deschutes River canyon where I knew I’d have plenty of time to scope out my photo, enjoy my lunch, and wait for the train to arrive. After much driving around and looking at various spots between Shearar’s bridge and Maupin I settled on this location at the White River. My plan worked well as the passing clouds opened up just prior to the train’s arrival. Luck maybe?
From there I moved on to a location between Paxton and Madras. I’ve not spent much time in this location so I wanted to arrive early enough to have an opportunity to scope out the situation. Knowing the train had to traverse the canyon between Cambrai and Gateway plus make two train meets at Dixon and Kaskela, I would have plenty of time to scope things out. Once I scoped out my position I heard the train setting up for a photo runby. I was bummed because the light on my location was perfect. Between the setting sun and the increasing clouds I was concerned what the 30-45 minute delay would do. In the end the delay helped. Had the train arrived when I originally thought it would a cloud obscured the sun. When it actually arrived the sun was out!
I made this trip with my 15 year old Daylight loving daughter. She was thrilled to spend the day with me out chasing the Daylight. For her seeing it, hearing it, and smelling the exhaust were the highlights. I enjoyed watching her and hearing the thrill in her voice as she talked about it after each time it went past. It is nice that 71 years later the 4449 can still bring so much joy to so many folks!