Day 1, Friday, 10/12/01
I decided it was about time to get out of my easy chair and head to Helper and beyond. It has been six months since my last trip to the area. Had to pay off my gas bill from last spring. I spent a few days running DeLorme Streets 9.0 and Topo USA 3.0 to see if I could find some new photo shoot sites.
I pulled out of the driveway at 0330 and headed to the local gas pusher to take on two tanks. Was too lazy to fill up the third one. Got out of town and headed to Helper and beyond. Ran into wet roads at the 6600' level, Gilluly Loops on the west side and Nolan on the east side. There was about two inches at the summit but not snowing.
Ran through Helper without stopping and headed to Wellington for a B&G fix at the Outlaw Cafe. Best breakfast in the area. Got out of there around 0700 and headed to the first shoot location. Made it there just before sun rise. 0730 and heard a noise coming from the east. It was the daily early morning BNSF west bound "M" train. No sun yet so no photos. This was the only train to sneek up on me.
The nice thing about this location, ~ mile post 600.5, is you have a detector at 592.2, between Grassy and Cedar to the east and at 606.1, between Mounds and Wash to the west. Gives you plenty of time to setup.
The scanner came on with a UTAH movement heading west. Seems the lead unit was a MK5000C. Looks like I miss that one. Wanted to get some pictures of the new SD50's. No such luck this trip. They usually don't run on the weekends any more.
The detector went off for an east bound and at 0830 here comes the ZRODV.
Would be a nice day out except the weather was right to form for the North Western side of the Colorado Plateau. Wind and scattered clouds. With the temperature in the mid 30's and on top of a hill, BURRRRRR. Oooops, scanner talking again. West side. Here comes the MRODV.
Scanner again. This time it is the #6 and there is no sun. Can't win them all I guess. Other chatter has the Dirt Train heading this way. With three T-2's in Helper, it may be an all Rio Grande T-2 train. It pulled onto the Sunnyside Sub and came around the corner. No such luck on three T-2's. There was a Yeller thing stuck in the middle.
Well, that is the end of the usual morning trains at this location. The one thing I wish I had here is a wide angle lens. Have one on order and it was sitting there when I got home. Next time. Headed back to Helper for lunch then to part two of my plans for the day. That will continue on day 1.5.
Last Update 10/15/01
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