Thread: Top 10 of '12
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
jdirelan87
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Since graduating college three years ago (wow!), the time I've spent railfanning has really nosedived. Its gotten so bad, I actually went out more in my last year of school in Pittsburgh than I have my entire time in California. Of course, I've also been deployed or away training for 20 of the last 42 months, so that doesn't help either.

I tried to make a serious effort to make it out more, or at least check off alot spots on my list that I've been meaning to go to. I didn't do so hot on the going out more, only had 15 days of railfanning this year. But, on the plus side, I did see a fair amount of new territory. I'm really gonna dial it up and try to get back to 30-40 railfanning days this year. Once you get your fill of the hot spots down here (Cajon, Tehachapi), the options are few and (very literally) far between. Looks like 2013 will be a bad year for keeping miles off the car.

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 416304
Photograph © John Ireland

Angle I've been meaning to get for a bit.

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 416166
Photograph © John Ireland

Afton Canyon had been on the 'to do' list for a long time, I finally made it there. Didn't exactly crush it, but got a few good shots. I really want to go back, but if I don't, at least I have something to show for my efforts.

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 414727
Photograph © John Ireland

Not a great shot, but this location is pretty cool; its the lowest point on the US rail system. The spot is easy to get to, its just taken me three years to pony up and make the six hour round trip to get to it.

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 406702
Photograph © John Ireland

Again, not a great picture but an awesome life experience. The stars aligned and I was able to 1) leave my deployment a bit early, 2) get routed via Tokyo out of Cambodia and 3) have a long enough layover to check out Tokyo and ride the bullet train a bit. Highly recommend checking it out if you get a chance!

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 396197
Photograph © John Ireland

My most "acclaimed" shot this year, unfortunately I associate alot of bad stuff with it. This was about a week before deploying (bad enough) and about two days before breaking up with my at the time girlfriend because of said deployment. To make matters worse, I tripped and ripped my finger open while climbing down from this spot, then promptly got my car stuck in the soft sand trying to shift with my banged up hand wrapped in my tee shirt. After waiting hours for a tow truck, I made to the Barstow Hospital around midnight to get seven stitches in my index finger.

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 396052
Photograph © John Ireland

My first crack at green Tehachapi. Can't wait for that magic month again this go around, I doubt I'll go back any other time of year now. This time I'll do it right and over night a weekend or two.

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 392602
Photograph © John Ireland

I've gotten somewhat burned out of Cajon, but I was proud with myself for finding (aka, stealing off RP) this unusually shot of the heavily photographed pass.

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 390907
Photograph © John Ireland

Nice shot of the new local power I've been meaning to get. San Diego is pretty dead when it comes to railroad photography, so I've largely overlooked it the last couple years. Did a somewhat better job of that in '12.

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 390537
Photograph © John Ireland

This was a great place I finally got around to checking out. I was able to pitch it as a hike to some non-railfanning friends, so it turned out to be an awesome 'male bonding' day. If you like hiking, I highly recommend checking Goat Canyon out. Its about a 16 miles round trip hike along the tracks, 8-10 pretty strenuous miles if you go over the back of the mountain.

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 387123
Photograph © John Ireland

Not a hard shot to get at all, but one I've been meaning to snag. Normally if I'm in Barstow, I'm just passing through on the way to somewhere else or getting a room for the night. I spent a day poking around town and it was really worth it. Great railroad vibe, second only to Altoona.

Last edited by jdirelan87; 12-31-2012 at 04:38 PM.
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