Thursday, 3 April 2014

Mojave to Needles

Today we departed the chilling cold of the Californian west and crossed the Mojave Desert to Needles, on California's extreme east side - a total of 218 miles.

First stop was at Barstow where the group were allowed to look over the external exhibits at the depot, before popping off down the road to Daggett to commence some serious train spotting. Five trains seen in total, two of them using the Union Pacific line through Yermo, something I didn't see last time around. one of the trains that passed through had four GP60's on the point, which had us scratching our heads....

Leaving Daggett, we followed the old Rte 66 to Newberry Springs, where we caught up with the GP60's about to do some switching with a tank car that supplies fuel for the local gas station - then we clicked - this is the Cadiz Turn and it is now run with Geeps instead of the usual Dash-8-40B locos. This was confirmed when we saw said Dash-8-40B's on another train returning to Barstow. Not sure where they were coming from though.

Anyway, we continued east to Ludlow, where I pointed out the Pisgah crater and associated lava fields along the way, and at Ludlow we had the first of many meals that would be indulged there - we stay at Ludlow later in the trip.

From Ludlow we did the huge push along the very picturesque Needles freeway to Fenner, we we re-joined Rte 66, which we followed to Goffs and Arrowhead Junction - obtaining many shots at these two locations. It wasn't an exceptionally busy day on the rails, but it was enough to keep us happy.

Checked in to Motel 6 where the water pressure is somewhere between drip and dribble - it's only one night and will be struck off the list for next time. Billy Bob and Zeb were checking in at the same time, I suspect they're off to do some snake wrangling tomorrow or some gator wrestling, after spending all night playing in the local Recovering Alcoholics Blue-Grass Jug Band - if you ever needed an example of red-neck - these two guys were it.

Speaking of snakes, can confirm that they are out there. Will have to be especially careful at Kingman Canyon tomorrow.

I didn't take many photos but filmed some of the best shots I've ever done - so I've attached some video frame grabs as well.

The weather was fine and warm all the way across from dawn till dusk.


Video frame grab - Daggett

Video frame grab - Daggett

Video frame grab - Goffs

Video frame grab - Goffs

Morning shot from Mojave.

Morning shot from Mojave.

Morning shot from Mojave.

Morning shot from Mojave.

Some sort of attempt to be arty at Arrowhead Junction - yeah right - I was on the wrong side of the tracks.


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