W hy was I parked just to the right of this derelict blue truck for several hours yesterday? Because my friend in Tennessee sent me a heads up that there would be a steam train excursion from Knoxville passing through Marshall on its way to Asheville yesterday and today. The train was scheduled to leave Knoxville at 7:30 am, arrive in Asheville's Biltmore Village at 12:30, and return to Knoxville, departing at 3:30.
With no way of knowing just when the train would pass by the bridge at Barnard (only a few miles from our driveway,) I decided to be there around 11, believing that the run from there to Biltmore wouldn't take more than an hour. So I set off... and parked next to the tracks where I would be sure to hear the train coming and get a good shot. While I waited, I took pictures of the surroundings . . .
Back when a passenger train ran through Barnard twice a day, these empty buildings were stores and Barnard was a lively spot.
Not now -- the only action is the paddlers putting in at the rivers . . .
Monte Love Gudger's store was built a hundred years ago -- my fictional Gudger's Stand is set here at Barnard ...
There's a little chimney that's seen better days..
What's that I hear?
Sounds like a train coming! It's almost 12:30 but better late than never... the crossing bell is dinging and the gates are going down. I'm in position for a shot as the train comes around the bend...
Oh, cruel disappointment! That is not a steam train! It is a very ordinary freight train without even any interesting grafitti.
I waited another hour . . . no joy.
And no idea if the steam train had been early, late, derailed, or cancelled.
Back at home, I went out around 6:30 to get a picture of the rising moon. And down in the river valley, I heard the steam train chuffing along and heard its multi-toned whistle as it ran through the twilight, on its way back to Knoxville.
Perhaps I'll try again tomorrow. Or perhaps not.