Since I'm now in school and away from home, I thought my Labor Day weekend was not shaping up to be ideal. With homesickness still hounding at me in the back of my mind,  and most of my newfound friends going home, I once again felt alone.

   However, I still thank my lucky stars for these wonderful hunks of metal and the community that surrounds them. Whenever I need a distraction, I can always just go to the rails to get away. It's great to live close to some tracks, and when some friends from Columbus were visiting to shoot Deshler, I nearly jumped out of my chair when I got invited to come along. It's not that I was excited to shoot the common and bland diesels, but I finally had something to do! Something to get my mind off stressful school and classes. Something make the time pass by. Something to keep me sharp until my pilgrimage to the Cuyahoga Valley. 

   I spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday shooting various CSX trains, with a focus on the famous Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) signals and other historic artifacts. My favorite train to chase (Actually this train ran on Sunday, oops) was eastbound K183, which is an empty coke (coal by-product) train from Gary, IN to Bemmler, PA. We had a pair of ex-Seaboard SD40-2s on the point, which are shown in the image above. Saturday night had me at South Deshler shooting southbound Q560 under the B&O signal bridge while getting destroyed by mosquitoes. It was worth it, just check out the gallery. 

   All of Sunday was shooting time, and cloudy skies for both days enables me to get a softer light, which compliments my preferred mood for images. That's honestly the only reason I had a camera in my hand, aside from the SD40-2s. More blue engines, bla bla bla. It was neat to see the remnants of the former Detroit, Toledo, and Ironton (D.T.&I) in Hamler. Mostly intact code lines, jointed rail, and rusty signals really put me in my element. All I needed was a D.T.&I Berk! A vintage pickup truck and gravity gas pump also brought out the creativity in me. Sunday night was spent in the Cleveland area, including a visit with a local friend and some exposures of one of the last Nickel Plate Road signals in active service. Good stuff. 

   On Monday, I slept in till noon to recover from the craziness of the previous day. I didn't shoot anything; the only thing that happened that day was a few of the local and visiting railfans gathering for lunch. After lunch, conversations lasted until the last of the group trickled out early into the evening. 

   All in all, I had a great time. While no cinders came with this trip, I still have memories that will last a lifetime, and I have some pretty decent pictures, too. I made some great friends and I wasn't bored out of my mind. While some of my homesickness dissipated, that calculus quiz didn't... until next time.