Saturday, January 12, 2008

Round Robin Photo Challenge: Railroads

There we were about a week ago, running errands on a foggy day, Hubby driving and me with my camera in my lap. I intended to take pretty little photos of rails disappearing into fog banks as we went over railroad crossings.

Then Hubby, ever the supportive one, said, "You know what we should do? We should go over to the train yard. It's not that far, and it's, like, the second biggest one in the country." Being naive and momentarily stricken with a bad case of stupid, that sounded like a great plan to us. So off we went.

It took a while to find the entrance to the rail yard; there was only one road going in to where the trains were. Turns out there's a good reason for that: It crossed dozens of unguarded tracks, with trains moving around on them at random.

We quickly realized that this place had the look of somewhere we weren't supposed to be. A place, in fact, where a person could get killed.

Still, there were a few workmen on the tracks, and they didn't flag us down, so we followed the loop of the road around a quick circuit of the place. I snapped shots as we went, but getting out of the car seemed like a really bad idea, even to us.

We were nearly home free, headed back out on that one road in, when our escape was thwarted by the longest train in the history of the world. If that train stopped, we had no way out.

While we were sitting there, praying for the train to keep on truckin', our higher brain functions had a chance to kick in. It occurred to us -- finally -- that we were unauthorized intruders, prowling around one of the country's primary rail hubs in the fog, taking pictures. We were probably being reported, as we sat there trapped, to the local police, the FBI, and Homeland Security. We expected arrest or worse at any minute.

And there was now an official-looking pickup truck heading our way. He was coming fast.

A lot goes through your mind when you think your life is about to go off a cliff over a momentary lapse in judgement. A lifetime of careful planning and hard work down the tubes. Public humiliation. Family disgraced. Life savings to be spent on legal defence ... I don't know how criminals take the stress.

The Truck of Doom pulled up at a service crossing a few yards away from us and, miracle of miracles, headed back the other way. The driver barely gave us a glance.

The world's longest train finally cleared the road, and we made a clean getaway. At least, I think we did. It's been a week, and no armed agents have materialized, no choppers have appeared in the sky. That's got to be a good sign, right?

All of which goes to explain why these photos are not exactly spectacular. I'm hoping to get a few points for effort.

* Be sure to check out all the photos the other Robins have posted: Round Robin Railroad Challenge.


Carly said...

Hi Vicki :)

LOL! What an awesome adventure you two had, it reminds me of some of the adventures Alan and I find ourselves on from time to time. Tee Hee. Great story, and great pictures to go with it. Fabulous as always. :) You made me grin large with this entry, thank you for that!

I think you guys will be ok, but if the Office of Homeland Security gives you any grief, tell them Carly sent you. I think they have a pretty big file on me by now. Tee Hee.

Thanks for playing darlin!

Always, Carly

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Well, I love the photos, the variety of them and the way you've got them arranged, and the bleak and spooky cast to them because of the weather. But it's your tale of misadventure that really makes this post. Thanks for taking your lives in your hands for us! ;)

MyMaracas said...

LOL Thanks, Carly. If we hear from the feds, I'll keep you in mind.

And thank you too, Karen. It was kinda spooky out there, actually.
Glad you both liked the post!


lisa's chaos said...

Wow the lengths you will go to for a challenge! Sounds heart-pounding! You got some great photos to go with your memories. :)

Biker Betty said...

I really enjoyed reading your adventure. Especially the paragraph about the public humiliation and family digrace. I've been a few places I shouldn't with my motorcycle - all for the sake of the photo, lol.

Nekked Lizard Lady said...

Yours, by far, is the mosting exciting post I've read. If the Feds have you under surveillance, you'll never know about it. But I sure would be watching over my shoulder if I were you. (just kidding..ha) These are great shots and the story was thrilling!

gina said...

lol!! i loved your story and you have some really great shots as well. you'll remember this experience for a long time to come, i bet. :)

Suzanne R said...

I think the pictures are great, especially for being in a car in a hurry. ;-) The photo with the trains on the tracks all looking like they're coming at you was awesome. I think I would have definitely been on the move if I had seen that in person. -G-

As for Homeland Security, I had the pleasure of dealing with TSA personnel last week and early this week, and they were quite easily confused by all the change I have in my purse (a pretty good amount had spilled to the bottom). They eventually let me through and onto my flights; if they come after you, let me know and I'll put in a good word for you since I apparently have a guardian angel watching over me when it comes to dealing with those people. LOL!

MyMaracas said...

Yeah, Lisa, you're right. I do seem to get a bit carried away with these things sometimes. But yanno, I think that's half the fun. ;-)

And hello, Betty! Nice to meet you. I'd love to hear about those escapades some time. Any babe who rides a bike has to have some good stories.

Lizard lady, I imagine you're right about not knowing about surveillance. If they're watching, though, they're in for a long and very boring stakeout.

Hi Gina -- you better believe we'll remember this one! Next time, maybe we'll even think things through. LOL

And if I do get busted, Suzanne, I'll be sure to call on your connections. I'm sure I'd need all the help I could get.

Thanks, everyone, for all the nice comments!

Nan said...

Great post! And how exciting! I suppose criminals think of the stress as excitement and maybe get addicted to the adrenaline rush. :^)

I'm 100% sure I would have been freaking out too! LOL

Great pictures too!

Gattina said...

Wow that sounds like a crime story, lol ! I only miss a corpse between the rails. You see how nice blogging is, without looking for pictures for your blog you would never have lived such an adventure !

MyMaracas said...

Hi nan! You may be right about the adrenalin rush. I haven't been that awake in years. LOL

And you're right too, Gattina. This photo challenge has taken me places I never would have gone otherwise.

Thanks to you both for stopping by, and for taking the time to comment!

barrettmanor said...

Cool shots. I'll have to show these to my husband. He used to play with trains - I mean, write software that ran rail yards - for a living. He visited quite a few, but I don't think he went to that one.

Martha said...

LOL!! You definitely get an A for effort! What a funny story and I thought the photos were pretty darn good too :-)

fdtate said...

Actually, those pictures are quite good. And very interesting when you know the story behind them. Yes, people are getting kind of prickly about where and when you can take photos. Glad you didn't end up in Gitmo.

MyMaracas said...

Thanks for the kind comments about the pictures Julie, Martha and Fdtate. If I could have gotten closer, they would have been better. Then too, I might have been run over by a freight train, so they are what they are.

Julie, I had no idea how complex these places were until I saw it for myself. The software to run a yard must be amazing.

Martha, thanks for the A! I do love me an A. ;-)

And fdtate ... ix-nay on the itmo-Gay. I'm still half expecting a knock on the door. These are pretty sad days in the land of free/home of the brave, aren't they.

Janet said...

A scary thought, actually! Great shots, and thanks for going through all that to bring 'em to us!

MyMaracas said...

Hi, Janet - thanks, and you're welcome!


Andrea said...

This was my favorite!! The best line: I dont' know how criminals take the stress. Priceless. Now I'm going to click on your Lost Countdown. we are so psyched for the new season!!!!