Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Well Shucky Darn It (Updated)

Monday drove to Pine Bluffs, WY to see the UP 4014 Big Boy going east for a Midwest tour. Out of a half dozen memory cards for my camera, I picked the one that is “corrupt”. Hence, no pictures.

There is time, Indian time, and Union Pacific Steam time. Scheduled to come through Pine Bluffs at 0930, the train didn’t leave Cheyenne until 1130 or so. It needed some last minute repairs. Since the engine is 78 years old and extremely complex, can’t find fault with the UP.

Actually watched it pass at Burns, WY. While waiting, I looked at some property in the area with an eye toward COLOEXIT.

When it came by, it was very quiet. Cheyenne is 6063’ ASL and Sydney, NE, the next scheduled stop, is 4088’ ASL. Going downhill it wasn’t working too hard.

The UP is frugal. May be why it has lasted 150 years. In addition to the usual cars, the Big Boy was pulling 20 or so bulk carrier cars.

All along the tracks were clusters of die hard steamer fans. Not like the trip last month but probably in the hundreds altogether.

At Pine Bluffs, curbed my usual smart ass response to stimulus. At the Sinclair gas station a cluster of older motorcyclists with Marine Corps club vests were next to where I pulled in. Several had rank insignias, one an E-8. I needed to pee so refrained from making Jarhead comments. When I came out, they had departed. Just as well. As my sister points out, I don’t move as fast now as in my younger years.

Some random observations.

 Many of the GM products seen had only one functioning daylight running light.

The further out in the sticks, the greater the difference in cattle behavior from scattered in the pastures near town to tight herds with the babies in the middle and the mamas on the outside in the wide open prairie. Coyotes.

Lots of green. The grass along the highway shoulders is waist high and the state is busy mowing.

Saw one severely neglected property. One pasture was loaded with more tansy than I recall seeing. A pretty flower in a garden, tansy is poisonous to livestock and crowds out desirable forage.  Once heard a rancher describing a new neighbor as, “Keeps his fences fixed, his tansy picked, and does more than his share on the ditch committee”. Good neighbor.

Lots of petroleum development with new pipeline construction. Saw two gas facilities with flare stacks going. Gasp! Carbon pollution.

The Midwest tour schedule is here.

The return is August7/8. An overnight stop in Sydney is scheduled on the 7th and on to Cheyenne  the 8th.  I plan to be there. Sydney is about 135 miles and 2+ hours driving time. Plus, the original Cabella store is there. Bass Pro Shop now owns Cabella and is closing the distribution center in Sydney. My understanding is the store will remain open. I’ve always found something to warm my cheap ass heart in their Bargain Cave.


Found on YouTube. In the distance beyond the grain elevators is a silver painted signal tower. I'm using it as a brace.



drjim said...

Let me know when and where to meet up, and I'll follow you to see her on the way back to Cheyenne.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Need some research. If we can't get close in Sydney I'd rather not make that drive.

Old NFO said...

Enjoy... sigh... Closest it gets to me is 10 or so hours away.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

The UP has said they want it to visit all their network.

drjim said...

Roger that. Keep me posted.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Will do.

Coffeypot said...

I can't believe you are considering leaving CO. Too much family and memories there. But a new start can be refreshing, not to mention new expeditions of exploration.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Born in Wyoming. Relatives live both states. Colorado is becoming Californicated.