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March 1998 - Page 57


richel; as several times we picked a spot and scram bled ou t to set up for the train as it charged up the pass. ear Java, we got our last shot, and I learned the first rule of photography in the moun tai ns-s undown and dark are two very d i ffe r e n t t h i ngs separated by several hours . We had taken our last picture around 4 o'clock, and while it was still light out, the glorious eveni n g sun had moved behind the moun tains. We continued on to Essex and arrived at the \zaak Walton Inn. The woman at the front desk told us that the four-bunk caboose was available for the next several days. Curious, we borrowed the key and went up to take a look. We found a ca boose equipped with a kitchen, furnace, showet; and a patio overlooking the Essex Yard, the inn itself, and the sur rounding mountains. Needless to say, it didn't take long to reach a consensus. It just made sense to seek out orange-and-green locomotives crossing the pass during the day and retUI11 to a red Great Northern ca boose in the evening. Not only was the fall color at peak and the skies clem; but the seasonal grain traffic was starting to move at full swing. The next day, after our quiet morning, a grain

train assaulted the pass with four of the new GEs lead i n g t h e way. Later, two s p o t l e s s D A S H 9 - 4 4 C W s brought a stack train over t h e p a s s o n t h e i r first trip west. The following days brought fewer new DASH 9s but equally fabulous weather. I found each section of the pass to have a character all its own-from the east slope

ABOVE: R unning west near

B lacktai l , B N 7213

emerges from the canopy of snowshed 8. Few snow sheds are left in the U.S.

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