We out here on the STP senior tour Keddie>KFalls>Dunsmuir>Roseville (1 Viewer)

Engineer J Lupo

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I'm not feeling creative at all but I wanna get this trip report written up before I start forgetting details. Maybe as I continue writing, the creativeness will come. With an opener like that and having titled this "senior tour" I've probably lost 88% of the potential viewers already but fuck it let's dive in.

@ibuzzard arrived at 11:00 pm on Sunday June 9th. We woke up at 4:00 am and were on the road by 4:15, didn't even brush my teeth. We drove up to Quincy California and had breakfast at Morning Thunder Cafe. ibuzzard put the word out that we were looking for an 8 mile ride up to Keddie(our catchout), one of the waiters gave us his dads number and said he'd probably take us. His dad(Tony) agreed, we parked the vehicle we brought in a place that would be safe for a week and loaded up in Tony's explorer. He dropped us off at Spanish Creek campground across highway 70 and told us he's never seen more rattlesnakes than he has exactly where we were getting out, thank's Tony that's relieving.

We quickly realized how out of shape we both are as we slowly trudged up the dirt road. The large box of ice and bottles of north coast brewing company old rasputin imperial stouts didn't make the trail any easier but you gotta have cold beers if you're gonna ride in the summertime in my opinion. We sat there from 10:45 am till 5pm waiting, finally our BNSF NBD rolls in. It's junk, we stand and wait for it to come to a stop. We didn't have to take two steps, the train came to a stop having parked a perfect grainer directly in front of us, good porch on the backside.

We boarded, I gave ibuzzard a fistbump as the train pulled ahead. We laid down in the clear for a couple miles and then sat up for those beers. Pretty but mostly uneventful ride, we slept until arriving Klamath Falls Oregon at 1:00 am. We bailed off and found a real nice place to sleep under a tree surrounded by bushes here. Woke up around 5:30 am & trekked over to WalMart for supplies. Called a lyft(I mentioned this is senior tour right? We made a few bourgeois moves, don't judge us) and got dropped off near the top end of the UP yard. Made our way to a place nearby where we could bench the trains.

Sat all day from around 11am watching SBD's pass by without stopping, seemed like they were all pulling further down and working within the yard. The only train that stopped in front of us had no ridable cars. Finally around 5pm a nearly solid tank car train pulls up. It's got about 45 flammable tank cars, 1 unridable grain car, against 4 DPU's and another 60+ flammable tank cars on the end. This train looked like trouble. I don't ever trust a locomotive consist that's got more units than they need to run the train. I know how often those extras get set out but we were kind of under the pressure of time constraints so we agreed to board one of the DPU's and take our chances.

We pulled ahead down to the middle of the yard or so, came to a stop. I peeked out the window carefully as we pulled forward again, coming to a stop directly next to a switch with a conductor on the ground. Obviously we're being set out but we're kinda trapped in this locomotive for the time being. There's no way we're both fitting in the restroom with our gear so we decide to just take whatever comes to us if the conductor boards. Of course he boards, opens the back door and sees a pack. We can't see him, he can't see us. In a stern voice he says only four words "Time to get off!!". I reply quickly "We're terribly sorry, we'll immediately remove ourselves from railroad property, you'll never see us again".

I chose those words carefully, I wanted him to know he didn't need to do anything else. No need to have us removed from the property, we're removing ourselves. Don't be suspicious of us trying this later, you'll never see us again. We booked it directly out into a huge field that felt like we were walking on a waterbed. The top crust was firmish but underneath you could feel the mush giving away. It felt risky to stand in any one place for long, might be knee deep losing boots if so. It was extremely hard to walk across this field in the blistering sun with all the pack weight on but it insured no bulls were rolling up on us as they'd surely get stuck.

We popped out on the other side by a place called Bi-Mart, replenished our water supply and called the same lyft driver to take us directly back to the same place we'd got on that train, determined to beat Klamath Falls UP yard that day. As nightfall began to approach we realized we might be sleeping there and that really didn't work well with the above mentioned time constraints so we took a walk of shame on down to Amtrak, purchasing the tickets on the way by phone. Coast Starlight comes in at 10:35pm, we sprawl out over the benches in the observation car and sleep to Dunsmuir and get off.

Somehow I lost all ability to speak around this time. I remember coughing a lot on the train, waking up from sleep. The next two days I had absolutely no voice unless I took a few drinks of water and coughed, then I could get about 10% of my normal volume out but it was a strain. My voice was soft yet raspy, like an old man dying might sound. It was pretty terrible because ibuzzard had quite a few questions for me that I couldn't even answer really. I began giving him a lot of thumbs ups and improvising some made up on the spot version of sign language.

We made our way to the river and slept till 5:00am. Ate breakfast in town and hopped a S.T.A.G.E. shuttle bus to Black Butte. Visited some friends at a place some of you know of, then back to Dunsmuir for supplies. We headed down to the Dunsmuir SBD catchout and met up with @Anarchistagenda and his friend Allie, they cooked us up some delicious vegan sausages and chilli wrapped in some pretty dank bread, it was a really nice meal(thanks Trent/Allie!). Afterwards, Jaime(broken hip w/face tattoos aka Animal) & Princess(his pup) along with a very pleasant young man named Jolly & CoalDust(his dog) arrived. Austin came down with his dog Teva and we all hung out till dusk telling stories and whatnot.

ibuzzard and I crashed out early to be up by 5:00am to bench some more trains. We walked an early IM train, still unable to speak I held out my wrist and ran my other hands fingers over the wrist like a knife to let ibuzzard know it was all suicide. Jaime, Jolly & Austin wake up and finally here we are again at 5pm before a train arrives. It's hot as fuck and all that's rideable are those 53's with basically no depth to the well, it's not even a well. You can just kinda lay between the container and walking platform/cheese grater thing. I knew we were under pressure and needed to get on something but having just watched Amtrak pass I knew there had to be more trains behind this one sitting back there in sidings all about to head our way so I convinced ibuzzard to wait for another one.

While walking back from the rear of that IM(we walked it looking for better rides before rejecting it entirely) ibuzzard stumbled over some ballast rock and tumbles forward violently, pack weight on the back he performs probably the most savage faceplant I've ever witnessed in person. In his 60's and overweight, this guy has terrible breaking-falls-skills. He managed to get his hands out in front of him which embedded dirt and rocks into his palms yet still somehow he also proceeded to roll forward beyond the hands with his face driving dirt and rock into his brow. His nose got a little banged up too.

After I cleaned his wounds I laughed at him a bunch(only after I knew he was alright), just replaying in my mind how unmajestic he looked eating shit. "Faceplant Johnson, there's your moniker" I said. He really seemed to appreciate the self-deprecating humor of it and I believe that's probably the last we'll see of the name ibuzzard once he gets back on the site and figures out where the name change feature is.

Jaime, Jolly & dogs caught that IM we turned down and about 30 minutes later in rolls our junk. We'd hoped for a boxcar but there were four decent grainers with a gondola behind them that all looked good. We loaded up on the grainers and sat waiting. I convinced Ol Faceplant to get off the grainer, that we should take the gondola instead if it isn't all shitty inside. After being spotted in Kfalls I didn't wanna get seen again on the porch of a grainer before even getting out of Dunsmuir. I climbed up first and looked over inside the gondola, turned back to Faceplant and said "we absolutey have to ride in this.. balls of steel, it's like the most metal ball pit ever"

It's a product called taconite, apparently it's not very common out on the West Coast and usually it's only seen around Minnesota. It made for an amazing ride. You could kinda mash your ass down into it and the balls would kinda move to contour the shape of your ass. So with a thick sleeping bag that was a really nice surface to lay on, I'll always ride taconite if it's an option. That junk train didn't stop but twice from Dunsmuir to Roseville, and only for a few minutes to efficiently side for a single train before highballing on.

We even got around Jolly & Jaime who were on the IM train ahead of us before siding out to let us pass for no logical reason, we fucking flew! Arrived into Roseville at around 11:00pm, called another lyft & went directly to In-N-Out. Two double doubles and a fry each, got a hotel room and pigged the fuck out. Showered off the funk, slept real nice. Faceplant went and rented a small SUV and returned to the hotel to pick me up. We were driving towards the highway when we saw Jolly on foot walking towards the yard, Jaime dragging that broken hip some ways behind.

My general assistance+backpay had just deposited the night before so I was all hood-rich, shot Jolly a twenty spot hoping they'd get those skinny dogs some food. From there we drove up to Quincy where we staged Faceplant's vehicle. From there he drove his car home back in the bay area, I drove back via La Porte Rd which was absolutely breathtaking. The peak was about 6300 feet entirely covered in snow, it was a really nice way to end the trip. The next morning I returned the rental SUV to the city nearest me and that's pretty much the last detail I can think of to mention, bringing us to the end of senior tour 2019.

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We sell all kinds of other stuff in our Etsy store!

Juan Derlust

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I had no idea who wrote this adventure because the different avatar - nevertheless, Hats off!

'I'm not feeling creative at all...'
Gotta send in my bullshit detector for a complete overhaul - thanks
 
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Koala

sleeps 22 hours a day, eats chutes and leaves
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Ha, awesome!!! And great photos! How's it feel to be back out there for a little bit?

Also, I've traveled in a few of those same pairs of walmart boots! Decent enough for the price and they work fine until one or both of them inevitably get a hole in the bottom.
 
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Engineer J Lupo

Engineer J Lupo

the most derailingest mod.
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530 Rackerby, California
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youtu.be
Thanks Koala! They're not incredibly terrible boots hey? At least for a while and for the price. I've come to the conclusion it's better to spend $30 on a pair every year than it is to buy a $200 dollar pair every 4 years.
 

Koala

sleeps 22 hours a day, eats chutes and leaves
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's better to spend $30 on a pair every year than it is to buy a $200 dollar pair every 4 years.
Agreed! Especially with my sad track record of losing pairs of boots.... and always important to have boots for support, with our track record of breaking ankles!

Share more pictures if you have more!!
 
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Engineer J Lupo

Engineer J Lupo

the most derailingest mod.
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Messages
915
Age
44
Current Location
530 Rackerby, California
Website
youtu.be
I took way more video than I did pictures. Ol Faceplant has a bunch of footage too. We're gonna try to compile it all into a video edit but it might take a while, neither of us have done that before.
 

Doobie_D

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hell yeah old man tour! Too bad y'all didn't have any slingshots or slings with you on that sweet taconite ride. They are the best ammo ever.
Personally.. I would have loved to see some interbrutal empty auto rack pics tho
 
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Coywolf

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Sweet lord this is the best post I've seen on StP in a while

Lupo, I done rode bigger balls of steel than that! I've never seen a gondola with that type of metal load before. Interesting. Most on them I've rode were like 2" in diameter.

Fucking KFalls. You described it perfectly. It's like walking through that swamp in lord of the rings.....at any time you could be sucked down to the rider underworld.

I really need to ride with yall. Sounds like a good time, with amazing road Dawgs
 

lazerskull

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Holy that was an awesome story man! Faceplant no shame in your game man I took a dive once in Dunsmir too. We were NB from RSV and we were passing through the part of the yard with all the extra lines for making trains. I was like "why isn't the train stopping!"
I had a panic and jumped out the boxcar which was going faster than running speed. I ran out as much as I could but my pack went over my head and threw me into the rocks.
True story. I get up all dirty and fucked up and the train stops and my friends jump off laughing at me.

But seriously, I never knew they even ran trains near Quincy! That's badass! Sounds like it might not be the easiest go though. I've been meaning to go up there. The High Sierra festival is supposed to be pretty cool there I got a homeboy there who told me to check it out unfortunately I'll be in Sacramento though.
 

CHIcowboy

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Your description of riding in the taconite load is amazing. I never would have guessed that stuff would be comfortable. Sounds like a larger, metallic version of the beads they used to put in beanbag chairs!
 

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