Thursday, February 10, 2022

“Bending Light”

Guest post by Frederick Manfred Simon.

December 1, 2017

So it’s like three in the morning, and I can’t sleep. God knows what’s tumbling around in my nut. Enough! I don some keep-me-warm duds, grab me gear and roll. Yeah. It’s cold out. After all, it’s the first morning of December. It’s supposed to be bloody cold! Anyway, with me ever-ready gear and still-snug self in my ice-cold rig, I head west. Out I-90 then US 2 along the BNSF. Scanner is lively: Seattle East has a bag full of eastbounds backed up from Latah Jct. to Edwall: empty coal and oil, manifest, automotive. On comes the dispatcher again. “Automotive hold at Fairchild, Boyer West won’t be able to take trains until traffic clears up.” Cool! There’s my fish. Closing in on Fairchild I see the hogger has pulled his power nicely over the US 2 underpass still adorned with the Great Northern Billy Goat logo. Problem. However. The Air Base is too proximate to simply pull over and set up. And there’s a sign that says 30-minute parking on account they don’t like folks hangin’ out too long near the Base. And I sure don’t want to give the crew concern as to what some guy with a camera in the wee hours of the morning is doing taking pictures of their train. Best to duck under the overpass and set up for a silhouette and hope for some early rises to provide the leading, bending neon tube-like light streaks to incorporate into the otherwise blasé composition. Parked, shite together, eject, set up, compose, adjust, ready, and just as I begin my exposure a couple of small-hour risers pass under the overpass. Sweet!!! I hear the air release. Up ahead the target has changed color. Just a few more seconds and I’m good. Done! The ES44C4 and two NS Dashies begin to breathe as an ES44C4 dupe bumps the rear. A quick preview of the result: Nice! Gear and self back in me toasty SUV. Time to go home and hopefully get some sleep. Yup. Some fresh air and squeezing off a few frames is just what the foam-doctor ordered. Home. In the door. Hit the rack…zzzzzzzzzzz…

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