Central Montana has no end to scenery. Despite visiting the area for 6 straight years now I’ve never stopped west of the Hay Creek trestle near Geyser. Why? Who knows. It seems like a prefect location with the tracks nicely in the foreground and the Highwood mountiains and their foothills in the background. It could be I’ve not stopped here because there is no nice place to park. In this part of Montana that’s not an excuse though as there is plenty of room off the highway shoulders.
This time I did stop and I captured the Lost Local on its return to Great Falls passing below the Highwoods. In the morning when the local went south there was a couple of inches of snow on the ground. As the day moved along the clouds cleared and the sun came out. Away went the snow. In fact by 1:30PM when I photographed this location the heat waves coming off the grass were quite strong. It is interesting how things can change so quickly during a Montana spring.
One last thing about the Lost Local. It has always fascinated met that more often than not it will have exclusively BN green locomotives. How do they do that? Someone in Great Falls must have some skill at getting just the right power.
May 21st was GorgeRail 2011. That translated into a whole weekend of Gorge railfanning activities for me! On Friday I headed out to enjoy fabulous sunny skies and lots of trains. Saturday I had plans for an early sunrise photo before the show and afterwards I expected to spend time with friends so I didn’t have plans then. Sunday I set aside as a make up day for the early sunrise photo followed by some time to get together and railfan with friends.
As you might expect with great plans something would go wrong. Unfortunately the trains and light didn’t cooperate perfectly for the planned sunrise photo. That’s life as a railfan I guess.
At this time of year the light should be rising over the ridge behind my right shoulder (in the image above) about 5:45am. I arrived around 6am on Saturday but the sun never did shine thanks to an incoming rain storm. To top it off I had to leave long before an eastbound train ever arrived. Sunday on several occasions the sun did break through just perfectly but wouldn’t you know it the train wasn’t there. I ended up with the image above which I like very much but would have been better with one of the sun breaks shining on the point where the train was.
I have something to work on for next time I guess.
Ahhh, it’s good to be back in Montana where there are plenty of wide open spaces. I’m currently in Stanford, MT which is located near the center of Montana and in the transition between the great plains and the Rocky mountains. This location provides plenty of photographic variety. One minute you can be out snapping photos in the grasslands the next you can get a photograph with towering mountains in the background. Perfect!
The first northbound of the day is the M-LAUSHM (Laurel – Shelby). Near the Grove elevator (Moccasin, MT) it’s pretty much wide open space.
Mountains. Near Geyser the Laurel Sub passes just south of the Highwood mountains and a couple of buttes including Square Butte shown here.
More to come….