December 31, 2011

Come Sail Away

The Lady Washington sails into Moss Landing Harbor in November 2011. (click photos to enlarge)
2011 is hours away from ending as I write this post, so here are a few photos to finish off the year. Moss Landing Harbor hosted a classy lady in November when the sailing ship Lady Washington arrived for a weekend and took admirers on cruises around Monterey Bay. The tall ship has appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and even the film Star Trek Generations, so I made time to catch a sunset arrival after an early evening cruise. Happy new year!

Tourists make for a fine photo as they watch birds and sea life in the harbor.
An otter munches on a crab snack while lazy sea lions could care less about the Lady Washington.

December 2, 2011

Travels with UP 844: 2011 Edition

It's hard to imagine a better birthday present than photographing a 1944-built 4-8-4 on her old stomping grounds, thundering up Cajon Pass and speeding across my beloved Mojave Desert. But there I was on November 19, watching in awe as Union Pacific's magnificent No. 844 engulfed the signal towers at Silverwood station with a cloud of steam and rounded the sweeping curve into Cajon Summit.

The California run was part of a southwest tour to commemorate the 100th statehood anniversaries of New Mexico and Arizona. UP 844 arrived via the former SP Sunset Route into West Colton (that's Bloomington to non-railfans). After a day on display, she climbed Cajon Pass on 11/19 and stayed the night in the desert town of Yermo. From there she traveled over historic UP rails to Las Vegas and points east, with a memorable stop at the restored Kelso depot in the Mojave National Preserve.

Slowing near Lenwood, Cal., for the arrival in Barstow . . . a magnificent machine.

It's always tough to pick my favorite pictures from a road trip, so I finally took a cue from friend Dave Styffe and built a web gallery in Adobe Lightroom. Follow the link below to see a gallery of 50 images of steam, railfans, and an extended visit to Kelso (the town may still be recovering):

Thanks to my family who let me loose for a birthday road trip, and to my cousins Damon and Jeane who let me stay at their place for a few nights. And special thanks to Union Pacific Railroad for once again showing unmatched class and style by sending its goodwill ambassador across the Southwest.

Some Giants fan wanted his picture with UP 844 at Yermo.