Sunday, July 29, 2012

Colombia River Gorge - 1

Hi, Friend Stan Short and I spent 8 days photographing in the Colombia River Gorge east of Portland, OR from 7/15 to 7/23.  While I feel we were able to get some nice photos there were a number of problems with trains and weather that made it a frustrating trip. 

We arrived in Portland and departed the airport about 11:00 AM.  After crossing into Washington and getting a quick lunch we were ready for action.  Unfortunately, BNSF was not ready when we were.  After following the tracks about 100 miles to Wishram, WA we learned that there had been a washout  the night before we arrived another 50 or so miles east of Wishram and that the line would be closed at least for another 24 hours.

We crossed the river and headed east.  As we neared Quinton (exit 123 off I-84) we encountered a UP westbound, our only train of the day and chased it back west.  We were able to photograph it at Goffs, just east of the John Day Dam (exit 114 off I-84),

and at the Dalles Dam (exit 88 off I-84).  So ended our first day.

The next morning we set up at Lyle, WA for a shot we really wanted.  Unfortunately, nothing ran except tow boats such as this one bound upriver.  The BNSF line along the Colombia was closed due to the washout and a curfew for track work, and the Oregon Trunk through the Deschutes River Canyon also was closed during the day for maintenance.  The UP was open but traffic was light early in the week and sporadic.

We photographed our first train about at 2:10 PM between Maryhill, WA and the John Day Dam.  This location is reached using the old SP&S roadbed and is open to public access by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

We chased the garbage train catching it at Lyle, WA (the clouds cleared a few seconds after the shot),

west of Hood, WA, and

at Stevenson, WA.

Day 2 done.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.

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