That big, beautiful steam engine SP 4449, seen from my dome car seat on July 3 as it pulls us back westward. Scroll down to read all about our "making a Y."
A quick glimpse between two hurtling cars on the adjacent track, out in the Columbia River Gorge on July 3. I took these photos from the open baggage car doorway.
The foreground is in Washington. The tree-covered mountains are in Oregon.
Another beautiful spot.
Smoke from the engine waited beneath the overpass, just for me to catch it in this photograph.
Mt. Hood, still lots of snow there. I took these photos from inside the dome car.
I think the train was pretty close to Wishram, Washington, when I took this one. Interesting shapes, so sharp looking.
This is after lunch, as the train backed westward until it was able to back south onto a bridge, the pull forward and go forward, westward towards Vancouver, Washington, and then on to Union Station at Portland.
What sort of rock is this? How did those smooth, curved indentations get there? All of the sharp pieces? Mysterious.
There's the southernmost section of the bridge with a barge passing underneath.
Here you see the tracks that go east and west. We're back south, out over the Columbia River. There is the distance is the part of the bridge that we will use to make our way back westward. My friend Milton, who is now retired from the CN Railroad, told me after I described our maneuver, "You made a Y, Lynette."
See the orange and red rail car with the doors? There are slats across the openings--that's the baggage car where I stood part of the ride out to Wishram. To rest of the orange and red is the SP 4449 itself, working at a gentle pace to back us onto the bridge. It's actually facing east and moving west. I am so glad that we were on the train for this part of the excursion. Saturday's outing had the passengers waiting at the Wishram station for this to take place.
Our path home begins here.
The Columbia River, seen as we backed on the bridge.
One of the things folks like to do out in the Columbia River Gorge.
There you see the track that the train used to back onto the bridge.
Here's the SP 4449 pulling us towards Portland. I think the two orange and red cars behind the engine are the tenders. I'm not sure why there's that smoky look in front of the engine. It was very dry and windy out there--perhaps it is dust.
How many years ago did that landslide happen? Interstate 84 is at the bottom alongside the river.
This bridge is at The Dalles, Oregon.
How did this shape happen, this roof-like shape? Surely it's not man-made. Does anyone know anything about it? Please comment if you do, or if you've seen something like it elsewhere. Thanks!
The Bridge of the Gods at Cascade Locks, Oregon. Last August I actually drove a Zipcar over it!