Tag Archives: transportation

Sounder In the Fall At Picnic Point

One evening, while up near Everett, I had a bit of spare time on my hands.  I had noticed a park along the waterfront called Picnic Park and had noted that I would check it out at some point.  This was a good time to try finding out what it was like.  The weather was not great but, with time on my hands, I headed down there.  It is a small park along the water and there is a bridge across the railroad to reach it.  As I walked across the bridge, there was a nice view down to where the coast curves around and the trees along the shore had some nice fall colors.

With the sun popping in and out on a regular basis, I thought this would be a good place if a train was coming.  As it happened, the Sounder commuter rail train from Seattle to Everett was not far off so I decided to wait for it to come through.  A few minutes later it came in to view.  There was a family with a young child standing on the bridge waving to the crew and, when I looked at the photos at home, I could see both crew waving back.  It was a pretty short train.  The Sounder North has not been too successful and the commuter rail ridership is well down due to COVID.  I guess there is no need for more cars just now.

Of All Of These, One Is My Favorite

The Avants event at Chateau Ste. Michelle had some very high end hypercars on display.  A Ferrari Enzo or a La Ferrari might seem like they are the best.  How about a McLaren Senna?  Seems like the best huh?  That might be true but the one next to them was the one I really was taken with.  I am not a big Porsche fan.  I don’t have a problem with Porsches but I have never been taken with them in the way some have.  However, I make an exception for the Carrera GT.  That is a car that seems to be special and the end of an era of car types.  I recall seeing one on the streets in Chicago and being blown away.  Consequently, when I saw this one next to the more recent high end creations, I was really excited.  It is a great looking car and something more traditional in the way it is designed.  It was also super expensive when it was new.  Of course, if you want one now, it is even more expensive!

Avants at Chateau Ste. Michelle

I was chatting with one of my neighbors and he mentioned a car event coming up at Chateau Ste. Michelle, a local winery.  This event was arranged by Avants and was a selection of exotic and unusual cars on display in the grounds of the winery along with wine and food to enjoy.  Sounded interesting and Nancy was keen to try it out so we got ourselves tickets.  On the day, the weather started out looking pretty bad but, since the event started in the afternoon, we decided to see how things turned out.  As it was, the day became overcast but basically dry so it worked out fine.  I’m not sure whether it actually reduced the number of people there or not but it felt busy but not crowded.

Exotics@RTC will provide a bunch of unusual cars but this had some very special vehicles and was definitely worth going to.  I am going to have some specific posts on some of the vehicles but this is more of a general overview of what we saw.  The cars were spread out across the lawns so were not crowded together.  Also, while there were people around most of the time, the cars were often clear of visitors if you were trying to get a shot – even when it came to some of the most unusual vehicles.

There was wine from the winery to purchase as you walked around (assuming you hadn’t bought the more expensive tickets with packages of wine and food) and you could order food.  However, the food options were not that impressive and didn’t seem to fit with the nature of the event.  That would be my only complaint with the event as a whole.  Whether you wanted race cars, hyper cars, vintage sports cars or even more unusual vehicles from Europe, there was something to see.  Nancy is not a car person but she certainly enjoyed looking at the beautiful styling of some of the vehicles (and the quirky styling of others).

Vintage BMW Style

When I go to Exotics@RTC, I just enjoy the vehicles and occasionally know something about them.  Most of the time, I don’t know much about them at all.  Some of my friends are far more knowledgeable about cars than I am and they can recognize what is significant and what is not or even what is genuine and what is not.  I don’t have that knowledge.  Instead, I see something that appeals to me or doesn’t.

German day, earlier this summer, included a vintage BMW.  This car looked like the sort of thing that would have appeared in old movies.  The sweeping lines of the car, the suicide doors, the shape of the windows – all of these just looked really elegant to me.  This was a car that had a certain something and I was drawn to it.  The fact it got a central position in the display must suggest it was not an average vehicle but I don’t know why.  Maybe some of you will instantly recognize it and point out I was looking at something amazing or something decidedly average!

Renault 5 Turbo 2

Exotics@RTC provides cars of many vintages but I always find myself drawn to cars from the 80s.  Since I was a teenager in that decade, they were the cars that I was paying attention to – assuming they were available in Europe at the time.  US cars of that vintage are generally a mystery to me.  The appearance of a Renault 5 Turbo 2 was a really nice surprise.  The Renault 5 was not a particularly wonderful car.  I drove one for a while and, while it could go quite quickly in a straight line, it didn’t have great grip.

However, the similarities between that car and the Turbo version were basically the name and nothing else.  The Turbo was a monster of a vehicle in comparison.  It went like stink and it was so wide, it was basically a different car.  There wasn’t even a back seat because the engine had been put there instead.  The owner happened to open up the engine cover while I was walking by which was a lucky break.  It showed up again at a following meet so I was able to get a few shots of it from various angles.  I was back to being a teenager dreaming of a hot hatch.

It’s Trains, Not Planes, Honest!

I might be sneaking some planes in to a post that would normally be a non-aviation day but I am going to claim that this is a post about trains rather than planes.  If you don’t agree, I shall refund your subscription fee!  The BNSF main line runs alongside Boeing Field and I saw a train run past the north end of the field heading south with three 737 fuselages on their railcars.  I figured I wouldn’t be able to get around in time to see them up close but then the train seemed to slow.

I figured it was worth a shot and drove around.  The train has stopped but it was also behind another stopped train so I couldn’t see it easily.  Instead, I head further along the track to a location where you could look up towards the train and where you would have an angle on it as it moved again – assuming it did of course.  There was quite a wait for some passing commuter trains before it finally got going.  The three fuselages will probably have been switched out at the yard just south of where I was and then moved to the Boeing factory at Renton.

Getting Rid of the Visitors at Exotics@RTC

This was not something I really made a proper effort at during a visit to Exotics@RTC but I did have a brief go just to see how things might work out.  With all of the lovely looking cars on show, there are plenty of people checking them out all of the time.  This does mean the chances of getting a shot without someone in it are limited.  I figured I might play around with using a bunch of shots and Photoshop to blend out the people and get left with the cars.

To do a good job of this I really could use a tripod to keep the shot identical and take way more photos than I did to give the algorithms something to work with.  However, I didn’t have the tripod and wasn’t too keen on staying in exactly the same position for ages trying to hold the camera in place, so this was always destined to be a feeble effort.  With limited data, people aren’t going to vanish but become ghostly.  Added to that is that a few people were chatting with friends for ages so didn’t move much at all during the time I was shooting.  They clearly were not going to disappear.  Still, it was a good thing to play with and might encourage a more planned approach next time.

I Learned Something About Karmann Ghias

The Karmann Ghia is a vehicle that I have known of since childhood.  A teacher at my primary school had a white example and it looked amazing to me as a small boy.  They turn up at car event pretty regularly and I occasionally see one out on the road.  However, I was caught out at Exotics@RTC recently when I saw another car parked next to a Karmann Ghia that was also badged with that name.  I had to google it when I came home and found out that there was a different platform used for a newer design during the 1960s.  These are apparently known as the Type 34 whereas the original version is the Type 14.  I had no idea until this visit.  I guess that makes my excursion and educational exercise.

Dead Railcar

A short distance from our house is an old railcar that is sitting on spare land gradually decaying.  It has been here as long as we have and I suspect a lot longer than that.  I’m not sure what it is resting on but it does seem to be listing a bit more these days than it was the first time I saw it.  I have driven past it on many occasions and often thought that I should take a picture of it.  I recently happened to be walking along the road rather than driving so figured I should stop and get a shot.  Since it is summer, the plants are grown up around the side of the road so it is a bit harder to get a clear shot of it.  I used the longer lens on the phone and stitched together some shots.  It would be better to shoot this later in the day when the light is nicer but we shall see if I make the effort to go back – and maybe take a better camera?

More Steilacoom Train Activity

Some previous rail photos from Steilacoom where the result of seeing trains while I was visiting for another purpose.  More recently (well, not that recent, but I am catching up on some stuff), I made a trip specifically to get a train shot.  I didn’t go all the way just for this but I was already down in Tacoma so a short extra leg was easy to do.  I actually planned on getting this shot so that we might use it for a future proposal.

I was going to head back to the same place I had been before but I came upon a parking lot for the beach which had a nice curve to the track and a crossing.  The view from above the crossing looked better so I went with that.  Fortunately, a freight service came through before the Talgo set I was after so I had a chance to get an idea of the angles and sighting time.  That meant I was better prepared when the train came in to view.  A couple of shots for those of your train fans that read this blog.