America 2010

Mar 2010 10

Day 24: Evanston to Wells

Woke up way too early today to a weird sound; sounded a bit like coke cans being kicked around the yard. Dragged myself out of bed to have a look but couldn't see anything, so went back to bed. Clattering continued sporadically for the next few hours. It was only when I properly awoke later I realised it was the heaters creaking each time the thermostat clicked on. Sigh!

Got up and was on the road nice and promptly. My breakfast apple had been sitting in the car all night and was extremely cold; so much so it gave me tooth ache when I bit into it! Yup it gets pretty cold out here in Wyoming.

Drove out to a railway crossing that had looked amazing the night before with the setting sun catching the golden grass; but this morning it looked pretty ordinary. However I caught a manifest heading away, and before it'd finished crossing a nineteen loco lash up went across the other way. Nineteen locos! Obviously a repositioning move, but very impressive nonetheless.

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Mar 2010 9

Day 23: Helper to Evanston

Was very tired this morning, something to do with the AC6000 idling outside my window for half an hour while the mid train helpers were cut in; all just an hour after I'd fallen asleep! Poor me was in two minds, on the one hand I was very tired, on the other hand, the rumble was amazing and I felt like I should be out there videotaping it all, although it was night time so there wouldn't be a whole lot to see. But the sound! I could feel it through the bed! For a diesel-head it was pretty amazing.

Anyway woke up and packed everything away, said goodbye to Helper and was on my way. Beautiful sunny day out there, glorious blue skies and wonderful patchy snow everywhere. Stopped at the ice-fall on the way up the hill.

Now that is ice! We're talking 30-40 ft high here, as high as a two story house. Oh and the sun was wonderfully warm, but the wind was ferocious! No trains to see, but the scenery was amazing as ever.

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Mar 2010 8

Day 22: Helper

I was fast asleep this morning when I heard the distinctive wail of an Amtrak horn echoing throughout Helper. Within a split second my brain decided that since it was getting lighter earlier these days I might have a chance to catch the Cal Zephyr during daylight; next thing I know I'm standing outside with my camera around my neck snapping away as a pair of P42DCs roar into Helper. My eyes hadn't even finished opening, so suffice to say the weren't great. Oh… and it was snowing!

I love waking up to fresh snow, especially when it is unexpected. Yesterday it had been sunny and the snow was melting, this morning there was an inch of fresh powder. Wow! I went back to bed but within minutes another train came roaring out of Helper; this time I got a decent shot.

The diesels had obviously only just woken up themselves as there were great clouds of snow cascading off the locos as they went through the crossing. Look closely ...

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Mar 2010 7

Day 21: Cedar City to Helper

What a day! Started off by washing the car. Fun fun, I love American DIY carwashes with their dozens of different modes, but dang it took a lot of blasting in the water blaster to get all the caked on mud off. Afterwards the car was nice and clean but somehow all that mud ended up on me. Hmm.

After that I went looking for a RadioShack to buy a replacement Peek (lost mine yesterday somewhere between Caliente and Cedar City, probably dead in the mud somewhere, poor thing). Checked out the spot where Google said it would be, and the spot where my GPS said it would be, and nothing. Oh well.

Hit the I15 and headed for Salt Lake City. Looooooong unexciting drive. Saw a military Hummer with two massive antenna on the back, looked like it was a trolley bus they were so huge. Inside it was bristling with radio gear, looked pretty neat.

Continued on, got some petrol, had a stretch, saw some mountains, saw some HV transmission li...

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Mar 2010 6

Day 20: Caliente to Cedar City

Woke early today, although fairly late by Caliente standards — they sure like their early nights and early mornings here. Then again I was never really sure what time it was there; my bedside clock and the microwave clock were in disagreement over what time zone they were in, so time was a very relative thing in Caliente. Nevertheless I was up and about very early this morning and even had a "short stack" of pancakes for breakfast with oodles of maple syrup. Not bad for $3.

Then I was on my way. I tried exploring out from Caliente into Clover Creek Canyon but didn't get very far before I hit private Union Pacific roads. So off on the highway and with the help of my GPS soon found the turn off for the Beaver Dam Road. Road was in good condition and after a while I was down at Barclay having a look around. This wasn't in the canyon any more which was a shame, indeed the most exciting view was around a curve. The track here was immaculate though, a lot of TLC has defini...

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