It passed at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday morning…

And I was there to capture it.

See?

Saratoga and North Creek Railroad.  Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens.  Photo by Chuck Miller.
Saratoga and North Creek Railroad. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Background.

It’s Sunday morning.  The Adirondack Mountains are blooming with the changes in foliage.  For the past year or so, I’ve photographed the Hadley Parabolic “Bow” Bridge, and my experiments became the basis for the picture Parabola: From Hadley to Corinth.  But even with my efforts in photographing that parabolic bridge, I knew there was a second span across that river – and sure enough, after some investigation, I found that particular trestle to be in use by the Saratoga and North Creek Railroad, a tourist and passenger railroad that offers breathtaking views of the Adirondacks.

Damn I gotta get some of this.

I checked the train schedule online, and discovered that yes indeed, the Saratoga and North Creek Railroad makes one trip every morning, leaving Saratoga Springs at approximately 10:00 a.m.  Okay.  That would put them in Corinth at about 10:30… and at the Hadley/Luzerne train station twenty minutes after that.

Okay.  All I need to do is get to the shooting location…

Wait.  Where IS the shooting location?  I know the best pathways to photograph the Parabolic bridge, but that bridge would be right in the way of my shooting angle to capture the train trestle.

No matter.  According to an online map search, there’s another dirt road off the beaten path… I can handle dirt roads and unpaved roads, I’ll just invest in an alignment for the Blackbird at some point in time.

Left turn onto the road and – oh crap.  Right around the edge… Sheriff’s patrol car.

Okay, Miller.  Deep breath.  You’ve done nothing wrong, and if you’re on a private property road, just excuse yourself and turn around.  Not the end of the world.

“Morning.”

“Morning to you, officer.”

“What you up to?”

“I just want to take pictures of the train as it goes over the trestle.  I figured there might be a place I could park and photograph without causing any trouble.”

At that point in time, the officer had three options.  He could either:

(A) tell me to step out of the car and walk a straight line and touch my fingers to my nose.
(B) ask for my license and registration and proof of insurance, and question why I had so many cameras in my car – was I possibly planning some act of sabotage?
(C) do the old “you have a broken turn signal (conveniently smashed by a nearby police baton) and I’m going to write you a ticket.”

And in the end, the officer chose Option D.

And Option D involved the officer saying to me, “Drive about a quarter mile along this dirt road, there’s a little parking area.  You can park your car there, and you’re right along the shore.  I hope you get some great pictures.”

Thank God for Option D.

Sure enough, I arrived at an area called Dean Mountain Park.  There was a little wooden fence along the shore, and I focused my camera at that point – um, no, bad angle, not what I’m looking for.

No matter, there’s a small walkway along the fence.  If I’m careful…

Dedicated blog readers, please understand that the path I took required walking over slippery rocks, mossy areas, leaf cover that didn’t completely cover the hidden ruts in the ground, branches that swung out at your face at the most inopportune moments… I navigated through, but these are areas that you must traverse with utmost care.  Trust me, this is coming from a man who almost fell to his death five years ago while photographing a lighthouse in Nova Scotia.

There it was.  Clearing.  Rock area.  I looked up.  Foliage just turning its shades of yellow and red.  I checked my watch.  Any moment now…

And sure enough…

The train slowly traversed over the trestle.

Get that shot, Chuck.  Get it.  Get another one.

And at the end, the photo my Nikon Df designated as shot number CTW-8409 turned out the best of the bunch.  A little crop here and there, and…

Well, you saw it, it was at the front of the blog.

I got it.  And maybe this coming weekend, I’ll go back and shoot it again, this time maybe using a different lens and a polarizing filter and a hopefully cloudy sky.

Right now this picture is good enough to put in my “short pile” for next year.

But … honestly … when was the last time you’ve ever seen me settle for “just good enough”?

Thought so. 😀

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4 thoughts on “It passed at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday morning…”

  1. Chuck, if I recall correctly, this is not the first time a cop has helped you capture a great picture. Am I right or is my memory faulty?

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  2. Chuck, you ought to try riding the scenic train ride. The views are beautiful. North Creek was a sleepy little town on a Sunday afternoon, but the views, oh!

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