Railing on and on

When I took this photo, I was certain it wasn’t going to turn out the way I’d hoped. The sun was in the wrong place, the rail car was in the shade…it was doomed to turn out horrible, and I was already trying to plan a different time of day to arrive back at this spot. Then I looked at the results on my computer.

I’m happy to say the image I saw on my screen in the harsh daylight was not the final image I discovered when I got back home. So I don’t have a return trip planned in order to salvage this photo…but I do have the spot marked in my GPS in case I want to try something different here!

For once, I spent more time watching than photographing

We had a behind the scenes meet-and-greet with the US Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration squadron Friday in advance of the Northern Thunder air and space expo at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, and it was a fantastic way to spend a Friday! The pilots and crew were gracious hosts, answering all our questions and clearly enjoying themselves when talking about their jobs and their aircraft.

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Love tractor

I couldn’t resist a nod in the title to one of my favorite bands from the Athens era. This tractor caught my eye from a distance, and I had to go check it out. It really stood out against such a beautiful blue sky!

As colorful as it is, this thing’s really broken down. Wheel’s off. Cylinder head missing. I don’t think it’s going anywhere for a while. That’s okay…it’s really photogenic right where it’s at.

The Wreck of the Abner O’Neil (No Gordon Lightfoot parodies forthcoming)

Recently a group of local kayakers made for a viral sensation when they posted photos of the wreckage of the Abner O’Neal, a steamboat from the 1890s. The river’s low levels have allowed the wreck to begin poking out of the water, and anyone coasting downstream from the Steckel boat landing is likely to encounter it. Thus the sensation.

I finally got out there myself. I’d been eagerly awaiting a time like this ever since the State Historical Society posted about it a while back, which allowed me to figure out its exact location. As a certified SCUBA diver, I’d heard about this site but never discerned where to look for it.

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Sentimental startup

I wasn’t able to see the warbirds which stopped in Bismarck this week (aside from a glimpse of them circling town), but I have been able to see them on previous visits. This is a video I shot with my boy back in 2013, as the B-17 “Sentimental Journey” started its engines and began to taxi out for a flight around the capital city.

Weekend at Brady’s

I made it to Mandan briefly this weekend for a family affair, and accomplished something I’ve wanted to do for a long, long time: take a photo of the Brady’s Used Auto Parts building. It’s still shocking to see it in this state, as Brady’s has been a landmark for so many decades. Gee, I feel old.

The land is posted, so I had to take these photos through the fence. Thankfully I had some nice conditions to work with, and my hands fit through the rectangles in the fence just enough to work my phone camera!

One last pano to fit it all in. End of an era…

My fondest memory of Brady’s was when I pancaked the two driver’s-side rims on the $25 car I was driving at the time (long story) and he helped me pick out two replacements for ten bucks a piece. That seems like a lifetime ago, too. Man, I gotta knock off this reminiscing!

Hoodie

One of these trucks has gone full-blown Mater, with no hood at all. The other one has its beak wide-open. Thankfully, I had a nice telephoto lens with me; they’re a short distance from the road, and on the day when I took this photo the ground was getting pretty soft (and muddy) already!

Cab in the field

I was roaming around and spotted the remnants of this old car immersed in the snow. I got to tread through some pretty deep snow to get to it. The funny thing is, I think I saw the remnants of some windblown footprints on a path almost identical to mine!