|Big Chill 2002
||Pictures from Big Chill 2002 have been moved to a different page.
Click on the link below to access the Big Chill Home Page.
Big Chill Week
||We recently bought a digital camera. These two images were in the first
batch taken with this new gadget. Chloe's eyes were wide open in the first shot, and Sue did
some red-eye removal with Windows Paint.
Sue and Chloe (84K)
|Out for a Walk
||These pictures were taken during June and July 2000 (except as noted)
in Parker Mill Park
just east of Ann Arbor, Michigan. One of our favorite places to go for a walk.
Sue & Picnic Table (108K)
In the picnic area just south of the grist mill.
Fast-Moving Water in Fleming Creek (130K)
We had a lot of rain in late May & early June, and it shows here in the normally slow-running creek.
Leafy Path (209K)
The park's main trail, about 1/4 mile south of the grist mill, looking south.
Sue on the Huron River Bridge (168K)
The footpath crosses the Huron River at the west end of the park.
View from Huron River Bridge Looking South (147K)
A split-second later and you would be looking at all of Amtrak locomotive 512, heading east at 60 MPH with train #350 from Chicago in tow, heading for Detroit. Compare with the next picture, taken 3 months later.
Another View from the Bridge (158K)
This one taken on September 16 as Amtrak locomotive 515 came by, running right on time with #350. I did a better (but not perfect) job of getting the engine on the bridge. Note how much higher the river level is in this shot and how the trees have started to thin out, getting ready to shed their leaves. Also, the midday sun is much lower in the sky than in June.
Parker Mill (90K)
This was a working flour grist mill until about 1965.
White Flower by the Footpath (57K)
A small white flower, about 1" in diameter. Anyone know what it is?
Little Red Bug Having Lunch (98K)
A very small bug about the size of a pencil eraser, chewing on a leaf.
Little Red Berries (107K)
These berries are all over the park.
Cat Nap (82K)
Sleepy Cat (44K)
A couple more shots of the cat, showing how she spends much of her free time. The "sleepy" shot is cropped quite a bit from the original and white-balanced with Paint Shop Pro.
Flannel Cat (157K)
This picture shows how much she helps us fold the laundry.
||The first set of pictures below were taken in Deshler, Ohio
on June 17, 2000 at the junction of CSX's Chicago-Pittsburgh and Toledo-Cincinnati main lines. (I did mention I have this
thing about trains, yes?) This busy railroad junction town in northwest Ohio is a safe
& friendly place to watch and photograph trains. The day was
mostly cloudy, but a few shots came out OK. These are cropped and/or resampled from the
original high-resolution images, so they won't take forever and a day to load.
Approach Clear Signal (130K)
View looking east. The center signal shows that an eastbound train is approaching "clear and green" from behind me on the south track (and came through about 2 minutes after this was shot).
Absolute Stop Signal (105K)
View looking east. All signals show stop for eastbound traffic, since this train will cross over the south track and take the southeast wye (to the right) onto the Cincinnati main line.
Cincinnati Bound (109K)
View looking south. This train is taking the SW wye to Cincinnati.
Toledo Subdivision (117K)
View looking south. The circa-1930 B&O position-light signals are scheduled for replacement soon.
Hitting the Diamond at Deshler (cropped version from 1024x768 original) (117K)
Hitting the Diamond at Deshler (original resized to 640x480) (68K)
Westbound CSXT 7799 running at track speed leading 4 other engines and a very long unit coal train heading back to Powder River, Wyoming.
BN 9479 (90K)
One of a matched set of two SD70MACs at the head of a unit coal train headed east
Deshler Station (93K)
Deshler's former passenger station, now used by CSX for storage. Until the 1950s this was a busy station on the B&O system, since this was a popular transfer point.
UP 6627 (105K)
View looking north. Southbound Union Pacific 6627 creeping around the NW wye to head west.
Crossroads Park (97K)
Crossroads Park occupies a triangle of land between the main lines and the southwest wye. Years ago, the Deshler freight depot stood on this site. A big gathering spot for railfans.
I managed another visit to Deshler on October 14. Some changes I expected to see hadn't happened yet. But, I found things changed in other ways:
Crossroads Park Shelter (141K)
This was the unexpected change. In the area I parked in last time, a new shelter has been erected. Funding for this project was provided by CSX and it also has a new gravel parking area and is even wired for power.
Fallen Signals (209K)
I was prepared to find all the old signals gone. This stack of signals piled in a heap next to the Deshler depot is from the line north of town. None of the signals in Deshler around the diamond itself have been replaced, and I saw no construction activity. It looks like some of the signals will be saved, at least for a while.
Making the Turn (146K)
All the Way Around (143K)
CSXT 7729 and five (!) other engines leading a long, heavy grain train around the SE wye.
Special Delivery (132K)
Not much unusual about this engine or the photo, but note the paper down by the ballast. The engineer has just tossed it out the window. The locals say this happens all the time. The usual deliveries are copies of manifests, "crew paks," and the occasional pair of disposable CSX sunglasses. Today it was a manifest.
Highballing Eastbound (100K)
CSXT 7604 running at track speed eastbound.
Old Paint, New Owner (154K)
CSXT 8651, still wearing its Conrail paint job, on the SE wye with car haulers in tow.
Fresh from the Paint Shop (135K)
UP 4040 wearing its brand-new winged logo on its nose.
|The "Stamp Train"
||These pictures were taken July 13 and 15, 2000 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The US Postal Service's
"Celebrate the Century Express" train toured the USA during 1999 and 2000. It was designed to showcase their
"Celebrate the Century" series of commemorative stamps and show how postal delivery methods
have changed over the course of the last 100 years. The train consisted of a leased Amtrak
locomotive, baggage car, and coach car (which held the stamp exhibit), all painted in a
special livery showcasing many of the stamps. Bringing up the rear of the train were a
restored Railway Post Office car and private business car.
Amtrak 100 from side (144K)
Amtrak 100 from front (148K)
Two views of Amtrak 100 in its special paint, parked in the siding next to the Ypsilanti Farmer's Market (old Michigan Central freight depot).
Amtrak Baggage Car 1252 (129K)
Used to store the outside displays and other materials for the exhibits.
Amtrak Coach 21044 (139K)
Amtrak passenger coach car, converted to hold the multimedia exhibits.
Railway Post Office Car (140K)
Interior of RPO Car (161K)
This car has been restored to its original appearance inside and out. My favorite part of the exhibit train.
Railroad Business Car (140 K)
Rear Observation Platform of Business Car (131K)
A railroad business car from the 1930s, restored to its original condition.
||My friend John recently suggested that I should take some shots of the area where we
grew up. Since I only live a short distance from there, this gave me another chance to go
on a 'field trip' with the camera. I grew up in Garden City, Michigan, about 15 miles west of
Detroit. Here are some of the first results (photos taken September 2000):
The house I grew up in. My mom and dad moved here in 1949, and my mom still lived here until March, 2000. Other than new windows and trim, it looks much the same as when I was a kid. The side yard was a great playground.
John's House (191K)
John lived across the street in this house. It too hasn't changed much, except that the world-famous basketball court in the back yard has gone missing. (Private joke: The front shrubs remain intact and healthy, to John's amazement. Ask him about it sometime.)
Kmart Number One (107K)
Little Caesar's Humble Beginning (77K)
Garden City is the home of two retail "firsts." In June 1962, the dime-store chain S.S. Kresge branched out into discount retailing and created the world's first Kmart store here. I remember it being an event of some reknown at the time (but I was young then). I was there on "opening day." It remains here today, remodeled and enlarged. In 1959, the first of thousands of Little Caesar's Pizza stores opened in a small strip mall near my house, and remains pretty much unchanged over 40 years later.
The population boomed in GC following World War II. Attending school here in the late '50s through the '60s, there never seemed to be enough room for all us kids. Times have certainly changed. My elementary, junior high and high schools are all closed since the school-age population has shrunk by over half in GC since I went to school here. The buildings are still around, serving other purposes.
Maplewood Elementary School - southwest view (115K)
Maplewood Elementary School - northwest view (125K)
My kindegarten classroom is to the left of the swing set in the center of the first picture. This building now houses a community and senior citizens center, and has not been an active school for many years.
Burger Junior HS - west view (110K)
Burger Junior HS - south view (121K)
My 9th grade science classroom is just to the left of the entrance in the first picture. The second shot shows the gymnasium area, site of my many ill-fated confrontations with Mr. Cathay, my 7th grade phys ed teacher. This building was leased to a private school, and the football field is currently being subdivided for new houses.
Garden City West HS - southeast view (184K)
Garden City West HS gym - south view (139K)
GCW HS is no more. The high school merged with the other high school in town (and moved to their building) several years ago. This building now houses the only junior high in town (at one time there were four). The "dome" is a rather unique structure, housing a stage, a decent size basketball arena and a 1/10 mile running track all under one roof. I spent many hours here, since I was the manager of the varsity basketball team (that's a polite term for "coach's flunky"). Behind the dome just out of sight is the swimming pool.
||A bunch more pictures
This link will take you to my wife's home page, where she has several photos we took during our recent annual block party.
||Ypsilanti Farmer's Market (135K)
Michigan Central RR Historical Marker (157K)
The former Michigan Central RR Freight House, now the Ypsilanti Farmer's Market. All the photos in this section were taken on September 30, 2000. The surrounding area is called "Depot Town" and is located north of the original town center. Many commercial and industrial buildings were constructed here after the railroad came to town in 1838. The building is now owned and maintained by the city. There was a brisk business in fruits, vegetables and flowers taking place on this beautiful early fall day. The Freight House is also used to hold various other community events throughout the year.
Former Ypsilanti Passenger Depot (151K)
Directly across the tracks (former MCRR/NYC/PC/Conrail, now NS) from the freight house. This building is not in the best of condition, but it does have a new roof and the cupola is being repaired. This was originally a three-story building, complete with Victorian-style tower. A fire in 1910 destroyed the top two floors which were never rebuilt.
Amtrak Train 350 (92K)
While I was wandering around taking pictures, Amtrak 350 came through eastbound with engine 515 in the lead. Bringing up the rear is control cab/baggage car 90200. Both are regulars on Amtrak's Chicago - Detroit service.
|Wild Cornflowers (175K)
Taken near Milan, Michigan on one of our drives in the country.
Abandoned Boxcar (152K)
This boxcar has been sitting here forever, about 100 feet northwest of the junction of the Norfolk Southern (former Wabash) and Ann Arbor tracks on the south side of Milan.