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Photo 7
A southbound BNSF coal near Louviers
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Photo 8
It's actually going backwards...
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Photo 9
One last shot for the day
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  Trip Report: The American Orient Express in Denver - Chapter 2
  Cheering Up - The Trip Home
(Late Afternoon, Oct. 14, 2000)
  From: The American Orient Express in Denver
Dates: October 14, 2000 Author: Nathan Holmes

Between the dismal cold weather west of Denver, bad news from home via cell phone, the whole vandalism incident, and other compounded things, I really wasn't in any great mood on the way home. I honestly have to say this is one of only two or three days in my life I've ever started home from a railfanning trip in a decently bad mood. I mean this is supposed to be what I do to relax and enjoy life, right?

Fortunately the weather cleared up as soon as I was south of Denver on US 85. One of the things I enjoy most is evening light - it produces some very interesting effects in photos, and it just generally makes me smile - not really sure why. There's nothing quite like D&RGW units in the orange glow of a setting sun, but today I'd have to settle for some nice shiny clean BNSF units. Darn. *grinning by this point*

The first train I came across was immediately after crossing the 470 going south on 85. A unit coal train lead by two SD70MACs and having a third on the rear, I assumed it would have to stop around Big Lift to pick up a few helpers for the long climb to Palmer Lake. At this point I should mention that I had been periodically physically abusing my scanner throughout the day ever since it stopped working, and after a few good frustrated beatings it had finally come back to the point I could use it to at least partially understand conversations through the squeal and static. I turned it on just in time to hear the helpers being put on and the track warrant being issued by the dispatcher. After some time of waiting, I finally got the shot at Louviers (Photo #7). The combination of amber/orange light and somewhat dark clouds lead to an interesting look at the helper units as they were speeding away. I thought it was interesting enough to include as Photo #8.

After that, ambient light was failing pretty quickly, but I overtook one more coal drag south of Castle Rock, at the Tomah Road exit. It's really not much of a challenge when they're doing 25-35 and I-25 is moving at 75. I didn't actually have any faith that my digital camera would be able to handle the low light, but the thing continues to amaze me. The results are actually quite good considering, and I thought the clouds and lighting actually made a decently interesting shot, at least as far as roster wedgies go. And with that, I'll stop boring you with my travels for the day. I hope you've enjoyed them, and I'm sorry for including so many of my thoughts - but it seemed appropriate for this particular trip. I promise I'll keep it back to its minimal level in the future.

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Oh yes, one other thing I should probably mention - all the images here are Copyright 2000 Nathan D. Holmes (maverick@drgw.net)
Note this doesn't mean you can't use them - In fact, I encourage people to use and enjoy them.
I'm placing them under the same license as RailARC images.
All images were taken with an Olympus C-3000 camera, a beautiful piece of machinery.