My last time shooting at SFO, I got shots of a Virgin Atlantic 787 arriving. Crossing shots are not unusual at SFO as the jets on approach will often have departing jets in the background. The Virgin jet had this. It also had a second crossing shot a little earlier on the approach. A jet heading over the bay to pick up the approach further down was directly behind the 787 just after it passed Coyote Point.
Two of the later obstacles in the Spartan Race involved water. The first was crossing a small river. It wasn’t too deep but the cold water on tired leg muscles was not nice. The banks were also getting very muddy and slippery given the number of contestants that had been before. Then there was a second water crossing. This was across and back the river with bank climbs on both sides. The water was also a lot deeper and the bottom of the river was uneven. Here people really struggled and the tiredness was really showing.
The number of train routes in Tokyo is substantial and the lines run through many of the neighborhoods. Having been there for a long time, the towns have grown up around them. Roads cross them on back streets and there are footpaths that cross the tracks too. As I walked up to Shinjuku, I cross the tracks at one of these crossings.
Making the crossing was not a problem but you did need to pay attention. The track was double and the trains came every couple of minutes. When the alert sounded, a sign accompanied it with an arrow showing the direction the train was going. This was very helpful in ensuring you didn’t think the train had gone and you could start to cross only to find a train coming the other way. I actually had to wait for three trains as, by the time the second train had passed, a third was coming from the original direction. They really do come that often. Looking up to the station, I could see a train in the platform with another one slowing as it approached the station. Trains really are the dominant form of transportation in Tokyo from what I saw.
The trail along the Alameda Creek takes you under a couple of bridges. One is a road bridge and the other is a rail bridge. I walked under the rail bridge and, as I came out of the other side, a guy walked past me and up to the bridge deck. He was carrying a couple of containers as if he had just done some shopping. He then turned and walked on to the tracks. I stepped over the rail and headed along the track on the ties (sleepers for those of you in the U.K.)
I was rather surprised by this. The bridge was only a single track width and it did not appear to have any spare space at the edges. He also didn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry. I had to watch what was going to happen. I had no idea how busy the line was but this did not look like a good plan. He strolled across the river. As he was getting towards the other side, I thought I could hear a train horn. Sure enough, an Amtrak train appeared ahead. The engineer obviously saw him and was sounding the horn. The guy kept strolling but was clearly going to get across in time. He eventually stepped over the rail and down the slope on the opposite bank as the train came closer. I don’t know whether he knew the schedule but, if he had been in the middle rather than where he was, this could have ended very badly.
Rochelle IL is about half way between Chicago and the Mississippi River. For those with an interest in railroading, it is known as a location where the Union Pacific and the BNSF railroads cross. The town has taken this crossing to heart and created a park where the two lines intersect. There is a place to sit under cover and watch the trains come through while there are areas for kids to play. There is even a gift shop that stocks railroad related gifts.
I was in Rochelle for work and my colleagues were interested in seeing where the crossing was located so, during a lunch break, we headed to see it. It was a rather hot day so hanging around in the sun did not seem like a good idea to me. I went straight to the covered area to stay in the shade while they took a look around. Of course, I wasn’t going to go somewhere without taking my camera along.
We weren’t there terribly long but we did have a few trains come through. If I had thought about things, I might have come better prepared and had some hearing protection. The two tracks cross on the flat and then there are grade crossings for the local streets so they sound their horns as they come through. In such close proximity, this is a touch loud!