Gallery 13

Roseville to LA, again...
It's now April of 1982 and it's still raining! Sensing that I might actually begin to morph into some newt-like ectoplasm, I remember how warm and dry the climate was in Southern California on my last trip, so began packing my still-moldy gear for a trip to La La Land... This time, being in no particular rush to "be" anywhere, I chose to begin my departure from the soggy bowels of the West Oakland Desert yard [below].

West Oakland Desert yard
view from boxcar

As luck would have it, there was an empty boxcar on my train [above], a rarity on southbounds, which I boarded with relish on the fly and, for once, had a reasonably dry ride down the Valley.

tramp in Bakersfield

I bailed off in Bakersfield to re-supply (meaning a football-sized bean & cheese burrito and a bottle of White Port) then went out to the yard to wait for a southbound, where I met, and hung out with, this tramp [above] and his two manner-less dogs. I really can't blame them, though, but every time I brought out my 5 lb. burrito for a bite the dogs took it as a sign that it was "chowtime", and reacted accordingly. As hungry as I was, the burrito that I'd dreamed about for the last 300 miles became a "doggy dinner", but it was satisfying, nonetheless...

view along the Tehachapi Line

Walking back to the yard with an empty stomach but a satisfied mind, I came upon a flatcar loaded with 3' diameter pipes, probably destined for some natural gas project in who-knows-where. These seemed to call out to me... "Hellooo, we're a fantastic sleeping place!" The Siren Song worked it's magic and up I climbed [above], only to have the shit scared out of me by another tramp who was sleeping in just the pipe I was examining [below].

view along the Tehachapi Line

Polite exchanges were made, and we began a very cool ride up the hill. I was now getting into the mindset of "Southern California" (i.e. that the temperature never varies more than 3 degrees, and "humidity" is a bad word). Amidst the cacophony that passes for our experience of "riding the rails", I believe that I must have heard (and remembered) what could pass as his "raison d'etre" for being here... on the same car as I, headed to the Holiest of Holies... LA, itself. Words... thoughts... farts (fortunately)... were drowned out, and soon we were to pass by the "Sanctum Sanctorum" of railfans everywhere, the "Tehachapi Loop", where, it would seem. every "male child" would have his chones removed if ever there was cause to dispute his "allegiance" to the "cause".

view along the Tehachapi Line

[above] is my view of the Loop as we passed by some "anal-retentive" railfans who expresed their "displeasure" at having their videos "ruined" by some tramps on "their" train...

view along the Tehachapi Line

Another view of our train (looking downhill) [above] showing us going through the tunnel.
view along the Tehachapi Line

A last view of my train curving through the tunnel and stretching out uphill [above]....

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