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HIGH IRON Online Magazine. Issue 1, Winter-Spring, 2001
Published by Iron Horse America, Hosted by Railfan.Net
Here are some more of those whom I have had great railfanning fun with or those who share the railfan spirit.
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One of the great things about this hobby is how it lets parents bond with their kids. Case in point: a father and son taking pictures together at Sand Patch Grade in western Pennsylvania on a weekend outing. The weather may be crummy but it is fun just the same.
Even my Dad can be found trackside with me from time to time. He does not care about the trains really but more the experience of being outdoors and doing something new. It is great company and a blessing for me when he tags along on a video shoot or camping trip. He is seen here with Martin Burwash, a historian and author of several railroading books on the Pacific Northwest. Martin is a great guy and is hard core enough to hike for miles and sit in the snow for a whole day just to get a single photograph. Most railfans are not made with that kind of salt.
Possibly one of the most generous and kind pals I have ever known is Greg, seen here perched in a Maple tree near Mance PA. The tree stand is an expansion of an old deer hunting perch that the railfan/carpenters of the Mance "Training Camp" added to, so that good, elevated train photos could be made. Greg was another friend that I made through model trains, another part of this great hobby.
The old B&O 'Q' tower was out of service by the time Greg got to see it in the fall of '98. No matter though, we had spent some quality time, and ate dinner with operator Ed Karfelt the night before, in SA tower, at the summit of Sand Patch. Railroaders like the tower operators and trackmen have also been friends of a sort. Many nights have been enjoyed, sharing pizza or subs and conversation in the old towers on my favorite mountains. I have learned a lot of history and shared good stories with those guys.
More railfans in the trees! Mike, will you get out of work this weekend? We're all gonna be on the hill.....
Dave and Josh again, this time with John; a friend and photographer who discovered railfanning fairly late in life. He was an instant addict. Here the guys wait for an eastbound on the west slope of BNSF's Stevens Pass.
My sister Whitney experiencing winter railfanning for the first time in the Washington Cascade mountains. We had a blast and by nightfall we were soaking in the warm hot-springs, a thousand feet up the side of the mountain, in the woods beyond the highway.
Me, Dave and Don, freezing our butts off on a winter backpacking trip along the CSX main east of Connellsville PA. We had bad food, crummy weather, and wet feet....what a great time! Dave, you look like "KENNY".Better watch out for that cliff.
More railfans that may become friends. These guys and I met at sunrise on Stevens Pass when they wandered into the spot where I had been camping. They wanted to know some good photo spots, so I guided them around for the day while I shot some video. We had a great time. I have made most of my friends that way.
Railfanning can be how friendships begin, so don't be afraid to talk and be open to the folks you meet out there trackside. We all need companions in life and sharing your hobbies with others is really rewarding. Hope to see you out there.
Even my Mom gets into the act. In fact she may be partly responsible for my addiction to trains in the first place. I was a kid in the seventies, living in the hills of western Pennsylvania, where my mom sometimes went out of her way to be "inconvenienced" by trains at grade crossings. Thanks Mom, for taking me to the tracks.
This fella and his wife can sometimes be seen trackside on the slopes of Sand Patch. Bud Evans is an old hand on the grade and lives within sight of the main where it passes through Hyndman PA. Here he and his wife are waving to an eastbound at the mile 199 curve, just before sharing the most decadent apple pie I have ever had. She served up a quarter pie slice to me that was so sweet, and flaky and good that I thought I would die. As it turns out she may have shortened my life by a day or two. Her apple pie is made with whole cups of lard and whole cups of sugar! Yummy.
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