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Thread: Blue Mountains and Turf.

  1. #1

    Default Blue Mountains and Turf.

    Blue Mountains and Turf.


    Took a break from family vacation in the Blues I got out last tuesday.

    Started out day break in LaGrande, was an unusual scene with no trains in the yard at sunrise. Found two trains parked east of town on the main and coming down the grade from Telocaset. I had my oldest son Andrew along to keep me company, he even tried his hand with a few keepers of his own with my D70.

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    Telocaset has changed a lot since I last ventured out here 4 years ago.

    Mainly the addition of these green power monsters. On a positive note UP is installing radio signal comms doing away with the unsightly poles and lines up here that cause so much trouble for shooting.

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    We found this innovative advertising ploy rather fun new addition. Did not get to sample their fare though.

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    Not finding anything moving out on the east end and seeing track crews closing things down west of Baker City we decided to amuse ourselves with a side trip to Boise. Andrew is a sports nut so we mad a homage to see the Smurf Turf at Boise State University.

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    We also got to check out the amazing UP Depot and its amazing view of the Capital City.

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    After a satisfying southern food fix at The Cracker Barrel in Boise the furthest west outpost in the the comfort food empire's chain. Was as good as I remembered.

    Getting back to Oregon we heard this lone SD70M talking to the dispatcher at Farewell Bend. New to me was a Boeing train in the Blues. I have never heard of these up here before. Although I have never happened across one before personally.

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    Deciding to take chase now that we had some action on the line we headed west out of Huntington. Only to be stopped by a very affable flag man who gave us the choice to wait 20 to 25 min. with a free wake up call when the crew gets done putting new bridge stringers in. Or backtrack to Farewell Bend and get on 84, we chose to keep moving. Good thing we did we caught up with a manifest with a DPU on the back at Durkee. Knowing he had to wind his way around the Oxman loop we raced up to the 84 Overpass prior to Pleasant Valley to catch him.

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    Andrew's take

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    Four years of abuse takes its toll on ACe belching black smoke when engineer throttled her up. These were shiny new last time I visited.

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    The heat of the afternoon combined with some instability to brew up some thunder storms that started to mess with our light by the time the Boeing train made it to us.

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    We swapped lenses, now I am shooting wide.

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    Seeing things going downhill fast for shooting we scurried up to the Encina summit for a final shot. Andrew's first and mine.

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    Did somebody pose this for me? Andrew thought it looked like VanGogh's Cyrpess and Wheat. Nothing was moving yet and their was way too much electricity in the air to go wandering out in the fields to get a good shot at Government Gulch.

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    Heading down the hill things had not changed much since this morning with another westbound parked along with another on the flatland by Hot Lake.

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    I wish I could have had better luck like my last visit to The Blues but it was fun. The storms also managed to set off a pretty good fire in the Wallowas we noticed on the way back to our cabin. Hope you enjoyed my report. Let me know what you think.

    Paul

  2. Default

    Great to see an essay! I really like the side trip to the Smurf Turf...that kind of thing worked into an essay really does round things out...ditto on the shots that show more landscape than train. Certainly the Boeing train was a rare catch and makes for additional interest.

    Good work, I vote yes.

    Martin Burwash

  3. Default

    Yea! An essay - and a nice one!

    Very good travel piece that makes me want to go east of La Grande. Some very nice photos that help define the character of the region.

    I vote yes!
    Get Out There and Shoot!

  4. #4

    Default

    Nicely done, I also vote for approval.

    That's 3 yes votes, which means this one can "go to press".

    I really liked the combination of other things of interest as well as train photos. This is exactly the kind of photo essay I had in mind when I created the site. It tells a nice story!

    As for the smurf turf, I've heard of bluegrass before, but that's ridiculous.
    Bob Harbison
    RailroadPhotoEssays host

  5. #5

    Default

    Duplicate image to create thumbnail for essay index page...

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    Bob Harbison
    RailroadPhotoEssays host

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    close to Lake Ontario in Burlington, ON Canada
    Posts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Duplicate image to create thumbnail for essay index page...

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    I see Bob used the D70 image for the index page.\

    One minor objection...

    To a foreigner I know it's the US, and names of locations
    are given however what state?

    The Smurf Turf? (sounds like a specialty food) is different
    yet somehow doesn't to me at least, to have
    any connection with the balance of the wonderful images,
    unless one reads the captions.

    Given the scarcity of recent essays on list;
    and the richness of the colours,
    I vote for acceptance.

    Bryce Lee

  7. #7

    Default

    > I see Bob used the D70 image for the index page.

    It was chosen since it best represents the story at a glance.

    > To a foreigner I know it's the US, and names of
    > locations are given however what state?

    It might be good to add a brief intro telling a bit more about the blues. Just a sentence saying where they're located etc.

    > The Smurf Turf? (sounds like a specialty food) is
    > different yet somehow doesn't to me at least, to
    > have any connection with the balance of the
    > wonderful images, unless one reads the captions.

    To me that's a good thing. It makes folks curious and encourages them to read the text. It works kind of like those "pull quotes" you see in magazines where they have a brief excerpt in big text to get you to read the article.

    In this case you're skimming the photos and go "What the hell? A bright blue football field???" So you read the text to figure it out. Good hook...
    Bob Harbison
    RailroadPhotoEssays host

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks for all the great comments and feedback.
    Point of reference the shot Bob picked is from my D90. As I stated me and Andrew swapped lenses during the trip. The wides were with my 18-70DX and the longs were with my 70-300VR.
    Sorry to confuse non locals. All shots were in Oregon except those taken in Boise, the Capital of Idaho as stated in the narrative.
    Paul

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pmpete View Post
    Thanks for all the great comments and feedback.
    Point of reference the shot Bob picked is from my D90...
    It's a nice shot, but the image quality wasn't really the deciding matter so much as the subject and the composition. I liked the fact you could see the train and the mountains, making it obvious the essay was about railroading in the mountains, even if you don't recognize the Blue Mountains.
    Bob Harbison
    RailroadPhotoEssays host

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks Bob, I like that shot too because its very distinctive for the Oregon Blues with Lookout Mountain in the background. It is really interesting how many railfans are not aware of the Oregon Blues outside of the PNW. I really don't recall any other location with that many hard summits in such a short distance.
    I may need to reconsider my formatting of putting the text after the picture to avoid confusion.

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