Risky Business

Glowing within after successfully capturing the waterfall view of the combined VIA 14 & 16, I waited in Riviere-du-Loup after collecting the lighting equipment to check the westbound VIA 15s power. Sure enough, both the new rebuilds, 6400 & 6452 were on the point. The unique F40s would be returning the following evening here above the Upper Falls. Not that I would be in any shape to take a photo, the forecast for tomorrow was for sunny skies on the Gaspe', guess where I was headed....... Driving over to Matapedia later, I was pulled over by police in Trois-Pistoles, I was'nt speeding when I went by him, so I was quite surprised to learn the officer stopped me to check my license. I thought police needed an excuse to stop you? Obviously, I was wrong, Ha,ha! Also.......obviously, I was not going to bring up this belief with the officer! I noticed the car trailing me had pulled over behind the cruiser, and the officer had me pop the back open and get out. Walking back to the rear I met two men wearing street clothes standing with the officer, all three staring into the open trunk, LOL! One of the men smiles at me and asked how's it going? We three had a humorous discussion about my lifestyle before the two men left, leaving me with the officer. I'm certain they had never seen a lighting system like that in a car trunk! While I waited for the officer to finish his work in the cruiser, here comes a tractor trailer westbound past me. The truck portion painted in the latest CN locomotive scheme, hauling a CN Intermodal trailer! Oh yeah....I thought. Only along the CN would I expect to see that! Heaven forebid we put that trailer on one of our trains! Sheesh! Finishing his background check, the officer and his partner wished me good luck. "Trains are your passion eh?" I smiled and agreed with them. Finally heading out again, I arrived in Matapedia after the Chaleur had left, I was not surprised, with the nights events behind me. SO I headed east up the peninsula for New Carlisle, where the crews change. Believing you will come across a seven car passenger train along the Gaspe' Coast is a dream. Besides, the most photogenic locations are east of New Carlisle as well. Five hours of driving later, I've successfully overrun the train "somewhere", arriving at St. Therese-de-Gaspe' at the scheduled time for VIA 16. Walking stiff legged down to the beach, I discover this formation in the sand, which I've only witnessed once before among my many visits here, and promptly celebrate my good fortune by trying different angles with the bridge. The sunny skies are degenerating into thickening clouds streaming overhead, the tip of the iceberg as it turned out. By three PM hail would be falling here, followed by heavy rain. Just past eleven thirty, I hear the faint whistle of VIA 6421, the sun hidden by clouds more than it is out now. Several minutes pass as the Chaleur closes in on this spellbinding location, then the sound of an F40 arrives at the same time as the 6421 is sighted above the bluff to the west of the bridge. The sun in the clouds, the 6421 drifts slowly up to the end of the ten mph bridge, then starts across. Halfway across, a beam of sunlight lights up the near end of the bridge and beach, holding there as VIA 16s headend pulls into the sunlight! I'll take it! Shot along Chaleur Bay at Saint Therese-de-Gaspe', Quebec on Sept. 5, 2009 at 11:38, with the 5D and Nikkor 14 - 24/2.8 lens set at 16mm. Please enjoy! Comments are welcomed.

All The Best In 2009;
Gary Knapp

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