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.