Poised to strike head out early in the morning for first light we were optimistic at the prospects. The weather was calling for strong winds for most of the day - they werent kidding! As we moved closer to the Salton Sea from Indio, the winds were getting stronger and stronger - winds sustained 40 with gusts to 50 with temperatures in the low 40s made it almost unbearable. Our first shot was to be outside Mecca of an eastbound auto train. During the set-up, Mikes camera acted more like a kite - flipping back onto its back on the ground breaking his newly acquired 1.4 extender. An additional shock to the camera caused it to partially function, glad we were close to the end of the trip.
We ventured down to the south end of the Salton Sea - the winds were whipping up white caps on the Sea. Our attempts to access some areas off road east of Niland proved to be next to impossible due to the mud and water from the rain from a few days previous. While driving around Niland we ventured into Slab City, a very eerie site to behold - a site void of any running water or electicity in most of the "sites". We were relieved to drive out of Slab City and head back to the mainline.
Hazy light from the dust and wind caused for some interesting shots for the morning. Traffic on the line was loaded for the morning, but there was a period of time there was maintenance scheduled on the line which would impact our train count.
Auto train east at Mecca
Three lights at the double siding at Niland
Mike and his slightly damaged camera - managed to get it working again
As the afternoon wore on the winds died down along the Sea, but so did our train traffic - only a few more were along as maintenance set up for the afternoon.
Eastbound at Wister
Calculating how much light we had left, we chose to head towards Beaumont Hill to try to catch some traffic out of West Colton. The vengeance of the winds came back as we neared West Palm Springs, but completely dissipated as we crossed over into the Basin.
Last train shot along the Sea
DAY 7 - Travel Day to Home
Day 7 was out travel day from Corona, CA to San Diego. After a great outside breakfast at Swami's Cafe in Encinitas, we took a couple of last shots along the Sunset Route, showed Mike and Steve around - checked out the KSAN approach from Albatross Street, Balboa Park and lunch at Fillipis in Little Italy. Overall with the exception of the rain and wind it was a memorable trip - as they are always. A multi day photo trip is good, and it becomes a great one when you are with good friends that have similar photographys styles. Thanks Steve and Mike. We were able to meet up with Mike (NScaleMike) from Vegas, and Darren Megowan from Bakersfield - we will look foward to meeting up with them again in the future. Total train count shot for the trip; 71 - many of them multiple times in different spots - total seen was probably in the 150 area. Thanks for experiencing out trip by looking at the stories.
Last shot of the trip from Del Mar