Saturday, November 9, 2019

Day 3607

Road Trip. We went to Palestine, Texas today to see Union Pacific's Big Boy 4014 arrive on it's journey through the Southwest. It was definitely worth the four hour trip to see this historic train traveling under its own power. The Big Boy was the largest steam locomotive ever built and the 4014 is the last one running. Union Pacific spent over four years restoring this train. It was pretty impressive. I was amazed at how close we could get to the tracks. As I was taking pictures I realized that if I had tripped I might have fallen into the train. Closer to the depot the police had the tracks pretty well blocked off, but we went to the outskirts of town to get better pictures. We had a good clear view and I could put my camera anywhere I wanted.

There were several other photographers with the same idea. One of them had been following the train for several days, carefully picking different locations to get the best shots. A few of the older photographers were walking encyclopedias about old steam trains. I was definitely an amateur in this group. The train was moving faster than I would have thought. It was all over in a matter of minutes. I managed to get a few decent pictures though. I don't think looking through a viewfinder is as enjoyable as watching the same event without a camera. You always concentrate on getting the shot and in the process you miss a lot of the whole experience.

There were so many railfans watching the train arrive in Palestine that I kept wondering why Union Pacific didn't sell tickets and carry passengers on this historic run. The big steam engine was pulling a long line of restored passenger cars and they were all empty. Union Pacific definitely missed a marketing opportunity here. Anyone dedicated enough to follow this trains journey in a car would almost certainly prefer going along for the ride. The passenger cars were the very best from the railroad's glory days too. It would have been quite an adventure.

It's weird that I'm so apprehensive about traveling. Once I'm underway I always have a good time. Janet is a good traveling companion too. She's always up for going somewhere. Last night I was thinking that it wouldn't be worth making this trip. It was just an old train and my arm still hurt from yesterday's pneumonia shot. Luckily, I woke up in a better mood. It was a beautiful Fall day. Too bad the weather wasn't this nice when we went to McDonald Observatory.

The car did well on the trip. It probably would have made it to Fort Davis or even Kennedy Space Center. My gas mileage certainly leaves something to be desired. It's terrible actually. You just can't expect good mileage from a 500 horse power supercharged V-8. My bad shoulder leaves even more to be desired. It can be very tiring driving long distances with a bad shoulder. These were minor issues though. All in all it was a very enjoyable trip.

We thought about stopping in Corsicana on the way home and picking up a fruitcake from The Collin Street Bakery. Neither of us like fruitcake though, so we kept driving. We arrived back in Dallas around dinnertime and stopped at Knife for burgers. The place was crowded since it was a football weekend at SMU. We had to sit at the bar where you can watch the chefs cook. It was much more interesting than I thought, although sitting here for very long would drive a vegan insane. We watched lots of beef being cooked tonight. I was amazed at how thick the uncooked steaks were. They shrink to about half their size as the fat in the heavily marbled meat melts. Our burgers were delicious, but I don't think I'll be eating much tomorrow. I might have to spend some extra time at the gym as well.

I really need to overcome my fear of traveling. I've enjoyed every journey I've taken this year and there's definitely nothing compelling keeping us in Dallas.

Dot is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day