Monday, July 22, 2013

A Mid Summers trip to the tracks

Made a day out of a little project yesterday and threw what I needed into the bag on the back of the Harley and enjoyed the day along the way. Yesterday was one of those Summer stormy days. Clouds and moisture from tropical storms way down south of here spin their way up here and make for Thunderstorms, Humidity and maybe Rain. The rain helped the fire burning in the San Jacinto mountains and it rained in the high desert in the early morning hours before light. The smell of rain, started as I cleared the Badlands on the 60 and rounded the curve into the San Timeteo drainage; the Cottonwoods and Scrub Oak smelled good. And further up around Whitewater the roads edges showed that it had rained. The Tamarisk trees were the smell as I made the transition to the 62 and headed up the hill. After that the Greasewood Bushes were the aroma clear up the grades up to the high desert. Yucca Valley got the brunt of the rainfall and a few intersections still had their curbsides full. Dropping down into Joshua Tree the roads dried up but one could tell a little rain had fallen. A quick stop for a taco at the corner and I was on my way up to the tracks. As I arrived Gary Conley was just finishing up his morning planting of sticky plants in the front of the museum. Looking good Gary, keep up the good works. Terry Watson rolled in before too long and they both went up and did a little work on the Espee Caboose. After breakfast I finished the chain drive repair on the Freight Motor and took it for a spin to check things out. As I rounded the curve above the first Trestle on the High Line there was a local resident too close to the tracks. At first he just sucked it in and stopped. I backed off a bit and dug out the camera, he decided to move a bit away from the roadbed and I passed on up the hill. On the way down he had scurried a bit from where he was and ten minutes later on my return up the hill he was nowhere to be found. I spent a little time searching the area to no avail; who said Tortoise's where slow? A cool day with a little sprinkles in the afternoon but all in all a great day. The railroad is in good condition and nothing that can't wait a month or two before tackling it. Looking forward to our Road Trip in August, hope to see most of you there. Have a great Summer, Brian.