The Thrill of the Chase

I don’t know how many of you took a second to take a look at the picture I posted a link to yesterday, so here it is, full size 🙂

Photo of a steam engine, taken 12/14/2007.

As simple as this photo seems, there is actually a story behind it. For the first time ever, I was able to take advantage of having a license and access to a car in order to do something for my own pleasure (I’ve gone out to drive a couple of times on my own before – the first was just an acclimation drive, and then on Wednesday, I had to go to an appointment during the day).

I can still remember one Sunday morning when I saw a train heading north and thinking “If I had a license I’d go and follow that train”. So, when I saw this steam engine heading down the tracks yesterday, my thought wasn’t “darn, I hope I’ll catch it later”, it was “OK! Boots on and off I go to catch this train!” I was so much of a hurry that I didn’t bother putting socks on and put the boots on my bare feet. 😀

So, anyway, I get into the car, start it up, and head out of the driveway, dodging the trashcan which was almost in the middle of the driveway (I’d later find out that this was the week when our “G-Man” left his Christmas card, labelled “Happy Holiday’s”, but the card did say Merry Christmas), and down to the first photo spot, kind of keeping an eye on the smokestack from the train as I was going along.

I then got to the spot, and pulled completely off of the road (though not too far), and got out. I waited about a minute or two and then the train started to come around the corner, which was my prompt to start photographing. Here are a couple of shots that I took as it was approaching the crossing –

First picture at first location

2nd picture at first location

After that, it was on to the next location (where the photo at the top was taken) – at first I was going to stop by that crossing that you can see in the photo, but then I decided to go around to the next crossing. While on the way over there (which isn’t that long of a drive), a guy driving a green car with dealer plates came hurtling through a corner and we almost collided. However, I slammed on the brakes and he did as well, and all was well (even though my heart rate was slightly elevated).

I then pulled up behind an SUV with Illinois plates on it, and behind me a smaller SUV pulled up with Iowa plates on it – can you tell that word about these trips gets out nowadays? 😉

But I digress; within a couple of minutes, the train came into sight and the folks who were there along with me started shooting, and about a minute later, it was all over, and it was time to move on for me.

I had a choice to make – either go to one more crossing to take a few more pictures, or just to head home with the photos I had already. I decided to go ahead and head to one last crossing. By far, this was the least populated crossing I stopped at – only the fella from Iowa was there, stopped on the other side of the tracks than I was. I grabbed a few more photos (one of which I put as my wallpaper straight after I got home, I liked it that much), including this one – the train steaming away onto its final destination.

 A parting shot

Hmm…now if it was summer I think I could see myself heading out to some new photo locations other than my usual ones I’ve had for just about ever. 😉