Monthly Archives: February 2020

New Trip Report – Mallets in Niles Canyon

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve actually posted any new photography from any railfan trips. Mostly it’s because I just run out of time. By the time I get home from the trip, there’s just enough time to dump all the images into my big storage server, maybe post one or two to Trainorders, and then crash so I can get up and go to work in the morning. And then life happens and I never get back to editing and publishing.

Skookum hauls a short cut of flats eastward over the Farwell bridge. The through truss bridge dates from 1896.

I’ve decided that’s going to improve, and as my first attempt, I give you the Lerro charter that happened on the Niles Canyon Railway out in California two weeks ago. Yes, that’s right, it’s only taken me two weeks to get this thing edited together and posted, and that includes inventing a workflow with WordPress that fits my new website.

The charter happened on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020, and the two stars of the show were Skookum, the only 2-4-4-2 logging Mallet in North America (and one of two anywhere), and Clover Valley Lumber #4, a 2-6-6-2 logging Mallet. After several trips where Skookum didn’t operate, I figured this was my chance – I’d finally see it do more than roll out of the engine house and back in.

I’ll give you a broad swath of the history of both locomotives and the route itself in the trip report. But if you like articulated steam, you’re going to like this one.

Click here to see Mallets in Niles Canyon.

Seriously, I’m Never Home

Shortly after the turn of the decade in January, I was perusing Reddit’s /r/dataisbeautiful and found someone who had built a location heatmap using OpenStreetMap, his Google location history, and some python to tie it all together. Given I’ve been carrying an Android phone and letting Google spy on me since early 2010, it seemed like a great way to end off the decade.

My maps for 2010-2020 are at the end of the post. For those wanting to do this for themselves, here’s the easy to follow instructions.

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