Train Journal - 1994


(For an illustrated account of this trip,
see "If It's Tuesday it Must Be Colorado!")

Sun. June 12, 1994 - Shelley dropped me off in Dunsmuir around noon and as soon as I walked to the jungle and took off my pack 3 units backed down to a string of cars in the yard. After a little switching I left town in a boxcar for Black Butte. We dropped off some cars so I switched to a pig and at Andesite I walked up to a stack and had a nice ride up to Klamath. Got in around 5:00 pm and by the time I walked up to the depot a southbound came through and I found a nice, clean boxcar. Got into Dunsmuir at 1:30 am and stayed on 'til Roseville. Got off at 9:00 am and I'm now waiting for an east train. I'm supposed to meet Photo Bill here tomorrow morning so I think I'll just ride over to Sparks and back instead of just hanging around here all day. The weather is slightly overcast and actually cool. Well, I should of stayed in Roseville - the east train that was called for 12:30 pm didn't leave 'til 3:00, and because of track maintenance in the Sierras the 5 hour ride over to Sparks took 10! We sat on a siding at Emigrant Gap for over 3 hours and didn't get into Sparks until 1:00 am. On top of that there weren't any west trains going back to Roseville until later in the day, so I'm just hanging out near the yard, waiting for Bill. Waited around all day but lack of trains and track work on the hill made for a long day of waiting. I went to bed in a boxcar at 8:30 pm and had to get up and check out incoming trains at 10:00 pm and 4:00 am but no sign of Bill. We finally met the next morning - he came in on the 4:00 am train but we didn't see each other in the dark. We caught out at 10:00 am in a nice gondola which was great for concealment but left us in a "Dutch Oven" for most of the trip. Got into Ogden at 1:00 am. Left there early in the morning and got into Roper at 6:00 am. Had breakfast at a truck stop and now we're on the same train waiting to go to Grand Junction. We're on the eastbound main and it's 7:30 am. Walked up to the head end and hung out near a creek waiting for the train to leave. Left town at 10:00 am on our same gondola but, not wishing to be "charbroiled" for a second day, switched to a hopper when we went in the hole at Thistle. It's now 12:15 pm on a beautiful day!

Had a nice but hot ride over to Grand Junction. Got in at 8:30 pm. Got food, beer, etc. and crashed near yard. Got up at 5:30 am and are now in yard waiting for a train. We certainly didn't know it at the time, but our luck was soon to change. Hung out in yard in morning and left town on the back of a hopper at 9:30 or 10:00 am. We were looking forward to a beautiful ride over Tennessee Pass but about 50 miles east of Grand Junction we went into a siding and got off to wander and stretch our legs when a city cop walked up along side of us and threw us off. We were handcuffed and taken to jail in Parachute, CO where, fortunately, they let us go after a half hour or so sitting in the smallest holding cell I've ever seen. Our "offense" was "criminal trespassing", instead of the more common "trespassing on RR property", so I'll have to deal with that when the time comes. Anyway, after we got out we headed for the Interstate and hitched for an hour or so and got a very well-received ride back to Grand Junction, where we had a miserable 90 block-long walk back to the yard in equally miserable heat. Kicked back at the river during the day and the city park in the afternoon and went out to the yard to wait when it got dark. Naturally the train that was supposed to be there at 9:30 pm got in at 1:30 am, and away we went on the back of yet another hopper. Slept until Helper and got off just outside of Roper at 11:30 am. Took a bus into town and headed for the "Y" to wait. We were there only an hour or so when we caught out to Ogden (at speed) and got there at 5:00 pm. This time we managed to go across the Salt Lake during the day and it sure is one weird place! Had great sleep in boxcar and got into Carlin at 1:30 am, where we are now (8:30 am). The train is going out the Modoc so it's waiting for a crew, I guess. There should be a Roseville train here in a few hours and we'll decide what we're gonna do then. We decided to split up. I left at 10:00 am on the Modoc train and Bill stayed in the yard to catch the Roseville train that was due in soon. I got to Winnemucca at 12:30 pm and now I'm on the UP headed towards Flannigan. Got into Wendel around 6:30 pm. Washed up, got some water and after a little switching we added the helpers and took off. Had a nice but "rocky" ride to Klamath, getting in at 2:30 am. Crashed north of yard, had breakfast in morning and now killing time until noon when there should be a couple of southbounds. Can't wait to get home - total mileage... 2,627!