Photo #N6-15

Mohawk Tipple
Wide Exterior #3

There was an old rail bed at the base of this structure so I took advantage of the relatively level, cleared area and set up my tripod right in the middle of the tracks. My long exposures would allow me the opportunity to scale the ridge and get into the building to add lighting, with just enough time to descend and close the lens at the end of each shot.

It was working quite well actually, until this shot. I was up in the building light painting the ceilings when I heard a low rumbling in the distance. I looked outside and from my vantage point atop the ravine I saw a bright light in the distance. "Naw, it can't be..." It definitely was though. Apparently the rail line was not nearly as abandoned as I had thought. I scrambled down the ridge bypassing the small trail of switchbacks, instead opting for a more direct route, mostly sliding while grasping at trees and shrubs to break my fall.

I arrived at the bottom just as the train came around the corner and scooped my camera, tripod and portable darkroom timer to safety by light of the train's headlight. I wouldn't describe it as a near miss or anything but something as ominous as an approaching freight train looks pretty damn close when you have run in front of it to rescue your gear. I wonder what the engineer thought if he happened to be looking down the track when he rounded the corner and saw a camera and tripod sitting in the middle of the tracks!


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