I feel like I sound like a broken record because I’m starting another post with “another trip to the Gorge”. I guess I shouldn’t whine too much because not everyone can easily visit such a wonderful place on a regular basis. I should feel proud to be able to start off another post with “another trip to the Gorge”, right?
Sunday’s trip to the fabulous Columbia River Gorge was an opportunity to hang out with a friend visiting from Wisconsin. Scott previously lived in Oregon so he wanted to spend the day hanging out in one his favorite places. With sunrise scheduled for 5:18 we decided to leave Scott’s hotel at 5 and find some trains in the morning sun.
Our first stop coincided with the eastbound morning Z train making a meet with a grain train at Cooks. This location was right on the eastern edge of the morning low clouds hanging around the west side of the mountains. In the minutes before the Z train’s arrival the scene migrated from full sun to cloudy. Of course just before the train arrived the sun disappeared altogether. Thankfully the sun came back just enough to highlight the subject and give me this wonderful photo.
Throughout the rest of the day we visited Rowland Lake, West North Dalles, MP 99 on the UP, the Lyle rest area and associated rock out croppings, the rock spires at MP 81.5 on the BNSF, and finally Rowland Lake again. In the middle of the day we stopped in for a nice lunch in The Dalles and relaxed while the trains took a break and the sunlight was less than optimal. The middle part of the day had plenty of lulls so we engaged one another in interesting conversations ranging the gamut of rail related topics as well as technology, science, and some politics.
Near the end of the day we found ourselves at Rowland Lake again. BNSF lined up 2 trains to head right into the sun so we found our various locations around the lake for photographs. I chose to capture this photo of the evening Z train between the Oak trees. Now, before you say “wow, you had great luck with the barge and tow boat Steve”, understand this is a composite photo. The barge passed through the scene about 9 minutes prior to the Z train. I felt the combination depicts what actually happens quite frequently on the Columbia River so I chose to put the two images together.
That’s it for this Gorge visit. Someone else approached me about a July or August trip so it looks like “another trip to the Gorge” is in store!