"A Famous Giant"
Not many people can say that they've "accidentally" seen one of the things that they've wanted to see the most in their entire life, right? I guess you can call me one of those lucky few.
While driving through Iowa, I realized that Union Pacific was running their Big Boy locomotive 4014 on a giant tour of the Midwest. I pulled up the schedule to see where the train was going to, and on the day I was in Iowa, the Big Boy was too. It was going to overnight in Mason City, which was about 10 miles north of my route. Convincing my parents to make the 6 minute detour was the easy part, but containing my newfound excitement was another thing.
While I honestly think Big Boys are overrated, I still wanted to check out the biggest (not strongest) steam engine in the world, just to say that I've seen it. Upon arriving in the small town of Mason City, the crowds were nearly triple the size of the entire town,with railfans and locals alike coming to check out the big hunk of metal in town.
Shooting with the hoards of people proved to be a challenge, but looking back, having all of the admirers in the frame makes it more interesting. There's not much else to really say, I mean it was pretty big, but only a bit larger than any other engine I've seen. I would like to see it run someday, but I'll wait until its operation is kinda old news.