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  Trip Report: D&S Fall Photographers Special 2008 - Chapter 1
  Saturday
Saturday, 27-Sep-2008, from Durango to Silverton
  From: D&S Fall Photographers Special 2008 Dates: Sept 27-28, 2008 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo 1
One of the regular morning trains leaves Durango behind K-36 #486.
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Photo 2
Saturday morning rapidly devolved into clouds and drizzle, as evidenced by 486 between Home Ranch and Hermosa.
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Photo 3
The photo special train this year was led by K-27 #473, as seen in this typical out-the-window High Line view.
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Photo 4
The first run-by was at the High Bridge. The light was bad and it was raining just a bit, but what are you going to do but stand there and take the picture?
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Photo 5
Unfortunately, there wasn't a whole lot of light, so my shutter speed had to be lower than I would have liked, but the shot was still salvagable (as long as you're not a pixel peeper and download the full-sized version).
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Photo 6
Down at river level are these remains of a wooden truss bridge. I don't know if this is part of the original high bridge, or if this is part of another bridge from upstream that was washed down in a previous flood.
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Photo 7
North of Cascade Creek, we stopped for our next run-by
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Photo 8
From there, it was up to Elk Park, as the crew needed to clear the main for the first returning train from Silverton.
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Photo 9
And here it is - DSNG 486 and train 462 returning from Silverton at Elk Park
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Photo 10
This helicopter had been following trains all day, but at Elk Park we got a good enough look to confirm that the photographer was indeed Sam Furukawa. Rumor has it he's working on a book for the Durango & Silverton, much like the one he did for the C&TS.
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Photo 11
Between the two southbound trains from Silverton, the crew took the special back to the Animas River bridge just south of Elk Park for a couple quick run-bys.
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Photo 12
A side-on shot of the Animas bridge, showing both the new structure (put in service in 1964) and the older wooden and steel truss structure behind. The older bridge was replaced due to weakened piers. After this shot, it was back to Elk Park to meet the second southbound.
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Photo 13
Train 464 comes through with K-36 #481 in the lead, giving us a nice blowdown. Wait, wasn't there a sign on that pole?
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Photo 14
At long last, sunlight breaks through the gloom, and with some of the best colors yet behind the engine. It's still a bit early for peak color in the San Juans, but it keeps getting better as we approach Silverton.
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Photo 15
Sure enough, there was a sign on the pole. Lest you ever doubt the force of a blowdown, just remember the poor Elk Park sign.
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Photo 16
Back 'er up for the run-by...
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Photo 17
Another run-by above Elk Park. While the sun had come out while we were waiting at Elk Park, it's too late in the year and we're too deep in the upper Animas canyon to have it hit us now.
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Photo 18
Like I said, too deep in the canyon for light. Without a graduated neutral density filter, there was just no way to make this shot really work. To even get this, I had to use a bit of digital trickery.
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Photo 19
Looking at one of the peaks behind us through the Silver Vista's etched door. Sorry, can't take credit, it was a Nathan Z. idea first...
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Photo 20
Crossing the Animas just below Silverton in the shadows of the canyon
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Photo 21
A wider shot of the Animas crossing
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Photo 22
A crew shot on the bridge - it's definitely not your typical crew shot. I also just noticed the gold "D&SRR" on the smokestack (not present on the other K-28s, at least that I've noticed)
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Photo 23
Another crew shot, this time with everybody in downtown Silverton. It's the first really solid light we've seen all day.
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Photo 24
Last light at Silverton
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Photo 25
Pushing back to where the train will overnight in front of the station
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Photo 26
Sitting down by the station
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Photo 27
Taking coal from the Silverton coaling tower (a John Deere frontloader just out of the frame)
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Photo 28
Okay, so it's not as rare as a K-28, but a restored 1959 Edsel Villager. There were only about 5,600 of the six passenger versions built.
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Photo 29
Thanks to Darel Crawford, we had lighting to do a little night shooting down at the Silverton depot
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Photo 30
Another night shot
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Photo 31
A little different version - a long exposure night shot, painted with a bit of flash.
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Photo 32
One more night shot
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Creative Commons License With the exception of photos #1 and #2, which are part of the US Historic American Engineering Record project of the US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, the rest of this work is copyright 2008 by Nathan D. Holmes (maverick@drgw.net), but licensed under a Creative Commons License. This allows and encourages others to copy, modify, use, and distribute my work for non-commercial purposes (only), without the hassle of asking me for explicit permission or fear of copyright violation. I encourage others to consider CC or other Open Content-style licensing of their original works.

All photographs in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS 40D using either a Canon 24-105mm F4 L IS/USM, Sigma 18-50mm, or a Canon 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS/USM.