The Shasta Route IV

by Steve Eshom on January 28, 2013

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Shasta Route January 2013

My last day in Dunsmuir was scheduled for Friday.  Saturday I needed to be home for family activities so I needed to make the most of the day.

20130118-IMG_5491With a fresh crew on board Z-BRLC starts to roll south through Dunsmuir.

Bob Morris rode along with us on Friday.  Bob is a character to put it mildly.  In addition to quite a a bit of entertainment as we photographed around the area, he provided a wonderful historical narrative.  The guy certainly has a wealth of knowledge and information about Dunsmuir.  Just listening to him talk about “the spill” alone was very interesting.

Our goal for the day was a couple of spots where we could work Castle Crags and Mt. Shasta into the photo.  When we arrived at the south end of the Castle Crags siding for our hike back to the track Bob was amazed at the amount of snow on the ground.  In all of his years photographing around Dunsmuir he’d never seen snow where we were headed.  No matter we trudged off through the 4″ deep snow (with a slight ice crust) and arrived at a location Bob had used many times for photos including the cover of an SP annual report.  It is a wonderful location where all sorts of different options abound.

20130118-IMG_5408-2

 A southbound starts the winding trip down the Sacramento River from Dunsmuir.  This curve
is one of many this train 
will experience before it exists this canyon 25 miles down the line.

With another southbound in the picture Bob headed us over to South Dunsmuir and another short hike.  This time Mt. Shasta provided the back drop for a detouring auto train from the Puget Sound and Pacific.  What a neat spot!  Just like the prior Castle Crags location there are all sorts of opportunities here.

20130118-IMG_5442-2

A PSAP auto rack train leaves South Dunsmuir for Roseville.

In addition to these locations Bob showed us photo locations at Azalea and Shasta Retreat.  Shasta Retreat is quite the cramped spot but again there are all sorts of photos in there as the seasons change and light moves around through the day.  Just remember it is at the bottom of a canyon so the sun rises late and sets early!

Around 1pm we headed for lunch and then up to John Signor‘s Southern California Railway layout.  Now, I’m not much of a modeler but I have to say I had a blast working the CTC panel and running a train on his layout.  What a privilege to operate on such a well done model!  We ended up spending almost 4 hours at John’s but thankfully only one train passed by outside.

Saturday morning I was up early on the road for home ending my wonderful experience on the former SP Shasta Route.  At the end of it Robert, Joel and I decided we need to make this area someplace we visit annually.  I had to agree and honestly I can’t believe I waited this long to get down there.

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