Zeke is here to tell you about some unfinished business we have. That unfinished business is posting photographs of some trains, both new and old. Now, Zeke tells me he does not like to ride on trains. In fact, he has told me he does not like to ride in anything at all! He does not even like to go inside the cat carrier. He prefers just to lie about, when he is not eating or sleeping or playing.
That is his job, he tells me. . . . I believe it!
ROYAL GORGE, COLORADO (1897)
This is a Keystone stereoview with the photograph copyrighted in 1897. A descriptive label was added to the back of the card, and that description is copyright 1913. Like almost all stereoview cards, this one is warped into a concave shape, due to moisture expanding the rear cardboard side of the card. Some, like this one, are impossible to flatten out on a scanner, so the center becomes out of focus. I tried to photograph this card, with poor results. I have been here several times, and there is a bridge across the top of the canyon, and a cog railway that will take you down to the canyon floor where I have been as well. Trains still run through there. Notice the third rail for the narrow gauge railway!
Following is the text from the back of the card:
"The crowning wonder of Colorado is the world famed Royal Gorge. Its rock piled crags tower above the river at this point 2,600 feet. The narrow and broad gauge railroad running through the canyon is one of the greatest pieces of railroad engineering ever accomplished.
At this point we are looking down stream through a portion of the Royal Gorge. The stream has been crowded to one side by the railroad grade, and is hard at work clearing away the debris that falls into it, or that which may be loosened from the bottom of the channel. The precipitous sides are composed of a granite rock which forms the core of the front range of the Rockies in Colorado. The great gorge is a magnificent example of what a relatively small stream can accomplish. The deepening of the gorge is still continuing for the stream has not as low a grade as it would like. Widening is also in progress. Weathering and side wash are loosening blocks of rock in the walls and hastening them downward. The walls will continue to recede and a much more open valley will be developed. The present form is extremely youthful."
This was card #8002 Royal Gorge, Grand Canyon of the Arkansas, Colorado
Mount Rainier Scenic Railway
I took a ride on the Mount Rainier Scenic railway, which is still in operation, back in 1982 and took this photograph. At that time, we rode in open flatcars with seats or benches attached, so we got the benefit of the steam pouring from the smokestack. I took this unenhanced photograph with one of my 35 mm cameras, using Kodak Ektachrome film (Dia-Film). Remember that? It gives a great vibrancy to the color. I wonder what this would look like with a digital camera? The engine No. 10 was built by Climax Locomotive Works in 1928 for a lumber company on Vancouver Island, Canada. It is a three truck Pacific coast shay.
The final photograph is from the Fort Lewis, Washington army base, taken by me in 2010. It is a photograph of USAX 1873. It took me several years to catch one outside. It is a GP 10 locomotive. I pulled the car across the street, and parked on the gravel right next to it! The engine was running, but I did not see the crewman. I took some close up photographs. I suppose I could have climbed inside and driven it away, but I doubt I could have gotten out of the rail yard! It is in front of the old engine house. They have built a new engine house further down the track, which is more inaccessible. Looks like I missed my chance to be an engineer, and a federal prisoner!