Friday, November 16, 2007

Escape to Rich Mountain

An hour after landing at D-FW Airport from my California trip, I was on the highway headed toward Rich Mountain (in the Ouachita Mountains on the Oklahoma-Arkansas state line). I had photographed KCS trains on Rich Mountain a few times -- but not since 1997! I was looking forward to getting back there. I'd have plenty of company; several railfan friends from out of town would be in the area for an informal get-together on Saturday and Sunday.
Here are the photos from the Rich Mountain area on Sunday, October 28.
All the motels in Mena, Heavener, and Poteau were full. I ended up having to stay 45 miles west of Heavener in Wilburton; I drove the rest of the way to Heavener on Sunday morning. This sight of a KCS train working in the early-morning fog greeted me when I arrived in Heavener.

Crowds of "foamers" (railfans) were the order of the day. A small group congregates north of Heavener as a southbound coal train waits for a clear track in the yard.

Not what I came here to see... a UP AC4400 leads a coal load up the steep grade toward the Rich Mountain summit.

That's more like it... KCS 6607 leads a southbound freight approaching Mena.

Stephen performs a close-up rollby inspection on a northbound...

HLCX junkers power a southbound rock train at Wickes, Ar.

Stephen and James take to their roofs in Wickes.

northbound grain empties in Vandervoort.

Could a church sign represent the state of "Arkinsaw" more perfectly than this?

I left Heavener around 6 pm and arrived back home around 11:30, capping off 8 1/2 days of travel and some very memorable days by the tracks in three states. It would take me a couple of weeks to process all the photos and get back to my normal routine around the house.

I've been out shooting a few times during the past week; I'll have some new photos of local stuff to share soon. Until then...
nr: John Steinbeck - East of Eden
np: Mark Davis and Hal Jay - WBAP morning show

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