I passed out about 3:00 pm because of extreme under indulgence in the area of sleep last night. I awoke at 4:30 to the female dispatcher asking, "That long? Are you sure? A black male voice answered, "Yes mam, I am sorry to say but it is true, I am 8300 feet long". She replied, "Let me think, where am I going to put you? I have a 5300 foot coming up from Baldwin. Look, stay put in Cade".
Feeling refreshed and really amused at the conversation, I fed the dog and threw myself together. I needed to get to Cade. I went down to the garage and opened the door to get my helmet. A bird had built a nest in it last night or today. I was not putting that helmet on. They carry lice. Not helmets, birds, or I guess helmets that have had birds in them may carry lice. That was my concern. My wife was a school teacher and I made doggone sure I didn't use her pillow.
I got the helmet with the broken face shield and I needed gas. This was taking a long time since I could not leave the nest in the other helmet. I had to hose it out. I'd have nightmares on the road and my head would constantly itch and I wouldn't be able to scratch it. Ever get an ear itch? They are terrible and embarrassing. There you are looking cool on your beautiful mount and then you start trying to get your finger up under the helmet and into your itching ear. Your glasses get all cockeyed and you can't see, then you have to sneeze. I suggest treating the situation like a cell phone call, stop and take care of it.
I got to Cade and from my long experience doing this sort of thing, I deduced that the 8300 ft long train had gone by the 5300 ft train and I was late. I took these pictures of the supporting act 5300 when I should have just let it go and "took off" after Big Mama.
I first shot Little Mama at the Captain Cade crossing. The main
line and the side track run together there. It pulled forward. Now that
I'm away from the action I realize that I was 2 minutes late for
the glorious meeting of the 83 and 53. The 8300 had just left.
I was that close.
This is the Captain Cade crossing. See the sidetrack that the
83 would have taken? The people in the cars were really giving
me the eye, especially when my ear started itching.
She would pull forward to the switch. The 83 with the remorseful
engineer had come from Lafayette. The switch on the north end
was in the wrong direction. He obviously did not stop and walk
back to fix it.
I took these shots from the historic Cade depot's track frontage.
This had been the starting point for the Cade to Port Barre
Southern Pacific Branch.
There were two guys switching the switch. One must have been
a rookie or new union rules.
She honked twice and moved forward. I realized I was
on the wrong side of the tracks from the road and had to
watch all of her 5300 feet pass in front of me. In the meantime
8300 was making tracks east.
For those who don't remember or were never taught,
5280 feet equal one mile.
I'd count the cars. I lost count.
It was going north to Lafayette, I was going south to New Iberia.
Could that size train move that fast. I guess if it had 11 engines
like the one yesterday, it could.
Running through New Iberia on St.Peter, I saw a bright
light to my right. I'd have to investigate. It's not every time
you can see a train coming down the street. I nailed the shot.
Well, if it wasn't Mz Allegheny.
I failed to see her signal. Back to driver's ed for you, young lady.
Actually, she's probably my age which accounts for not signaling.
Engines didn't have signals back then, did I?
I knew where she was going. We'll see her later.
Believe me, you didn't want to watch. It would ruin
railroading for you.
I hauled it down 182 hitting Jeanerette just right.
I caught 8300's tail end above Baldwin.
It was very very long. I think it hypnotized me. I lingered
here for what seems like forever. This is troubling.
I needed to catch the engines at the bridge.
Whew, no the pictures were similar, but in different places.
I did attempt a "top of the bridge" picture risking life and limb
to do so, but they failed. Then the next crossing occurred somewhere
in this series. Or, rather, I crossed the bridge somewhere in these
pictures. Man, I was getting worried about having a train fetish
for a moment there. I hadn't remembered just sitting there and
snapping one shot after another after another after another
of the same thing.
It was time to let the trains go. The sun was going down
and the clouds from the earlier storms lingered. I crossed
the Baldwin Bridge. I hear Jimi Hindrix playing "If 6 were9"
every time I go over this one.
"If the sun forgets to shine.... I don't mind, I don't mind".
On the other side of the bayou from Jeanerette is Baywood.
Sorry to interrupt the mood.
To meld a little beauty and a big beauty, I caught up with
Mz Allegheny switching back and forth, struttin' her stuff
down Williams Boulevard to a little J.Giles music, maybe
doing the Southside Shuffle, yea.
I headed back to Cade where I heard there was more action.
I'd had a nap, why not?
Finally making it through those corners, I was back at the
new BNSF building that looks like a depot on the exact spot
as the old Cade Depot.
I continued north.
I was back on True Friend, my shortcut home.
One more shot of the Teche. This may become a ride ending tradition.
Oops, one more curve to make it on in.