Beginnings And Endings – A Variety Pack

by Jim on 2021/03/30

Today is Tuesday 30 March 2021, and I came today to Lake Charles for the first time since February 10.

Beginnings And Ends

I left the homestead right at 07:00 CDT, bound for Eunice. The sky was overcast, humid, and cool. It’s beginnings and endings. I’m trying to get her off of my mind, I am done that big photo project, I made the Patreon post yesterday, and I’m trying to go find this Acadiana Railway train as I am on my circuitous way to Lake Charles, this should be my last time or second-to-last time doing the Acadiana Railway train until the fall or winter. This is the beginning of the end of foam season. That’s fine by me, as I need to dive right into studying for professional licenses.

I have thoughts about the Kansas City Southern Railway merger with the Canadian Pacific Railway. I can express them! I did not yet eat anything today. All that I have consumed is water and coffee, not even tea. I’m going to have to make tea when I return, not sure when. I have to get Mike to water my plants. I need to call him.

At 7:13, or 7:12, I passed by the high school, at least the third time I passed there, but the first time I see a bunch of automobiles out there as if it’s a functioning school! Of course it is!, but there’s still a pandemic raging!

So, then, I heard a voice on the radio, on what is still called “Eagle 98.1” as it was when I was quite young, a voice that influenced me when I was impressionable, and I realized how bad of an influence he was.

The Richard Condon rant that I heard this morning about being bullied for not wanting to get the vaccine, about all the times he’s picked on non-athletic people or whatever, was right after I pass the school right after I turn northward, I guess it was around 7:15 to 7:20.

Hearing the rant and noticing my own disgust at it really helped clarify so much for me, because I – teenage me, really – didn’t appreciate how stupid all of it was back in 1995.

At 7:28, I crossed Highway 90 and the railroad.

At 7:40, Richard Condon did a rant on gun locks and such, saying dogwhistle-like words so often, and talking about child support and East Baton Rouge prison, and, while I somewhat agree that the liberal focus on guns is a bit overdone, I realized something about this segment that he did, that it really isn’t that much different, that it’s in the same vein as, Rush Limbaugh’s house kits, Rush Limbaugh’s little stupid skits, and he’s talked about “thugs” and East Baton Rouge prison and child support and all these other racist dogwhistles, and it made me realize that this is the same stuff that he was saying more than 25 years ago when I was an impressionable teenager and didn’t think that any of this was bad.

It made me realize how terrible he is. He even said something about not giving free health care to people in prison. And so I see how the carceral state actually puts the rest of us in danger the, carceral state, the prison industrial complex; so it made me realize how terrible what he was saying was 25 years ago was at the time, how I bought into it, how other people buy into it, and it’s not funny anymore now that we’ve had a Trump presidency and we see the real world guy do it, he wasn’t funny, that’s what my eyes have only been open, not that anything actually changed; it’s just that I really want to know.

It makes me think that Eagle 98.1 is pretty damn terrible, but I must think of it in the same way that I think of AM radio stations that carry hate radio, carry talk radio, that carry Rush Limbaugh and Dan Bongino.

At 07:52, I was on Louisiana Highway 367, and rain has started falling, not heavy, but definite rain!

Before 08:00, I was munching on trail mix as I was approaching Eunice as light rain fell.

I arrived at US Highway 190 at 7:59, just shy of an hour after leaving the house with no stops except for a quick stop to pee on that little road north of I-10. I was really hungry! There were a bunch of people outside the Eunice Animal Hospital at eight o’clock in the morning. I wonder if they’re waiting for a vaccine shot or something.

At 8:03, I arrived at East Street, and I noticed that it looked like the locomotive hadn’t even been turned on. Wow, I wonder if there will even be a train today!

I saw two cars on the track.

I succumbed to a brown bear attack near them, two hopper cars. That was the first time in a long time that that happened.

The crew showed up and powered up the locomotive.   I was hungry, and I figured that the time that it would take for the crew to grab all of the cars – there were more than two, actually – was just enough for me to go and grab some food somewhere.

At 08:27, I was in the somewhat long line at the Wendy’s drive through. On the way here, on the 105.1 radio station, I heard the modern incarnation of Walton & Johnson, apparently without Walton but with Johnson and all of his characters.  Are people not tired of this crap?  Has Steve Johnson not tired of doing this act after thirty-odd years?

Finally, at 08:57, at East Vine Avenue, I am set up to photograph the train.

Here is the train!

Yeah, it looks like an Acadiana Railway train, like I have seen before.

Okay, actually, this is not fun.

Dammit, there is some bad graffiti on those fourth and fifth cars!

I get set up farther to the south, and I notice that the other side of the second car is even worse.

That really spoils a decent shots. I despise the vandals that put those atrocious desecrations there.

Farther to the south, I am doing the best that I can here.

I really don’t know about this.

Here I am at Highway 3116, a shot that I hadn’t ever done before.

Okay, I decided that I had enough of this.

At about 9:17, I crossed Highway 97, I think, on 48th Road, as I was heading west away from Eunice. I got a few shots of the train in town and on the southern edge of town and south of town including at a new shot, the one just above, but I broke off from the train primarily due to bad graffiti on both sides of it, causing me to lose interest. I could have chased it south and gone sit at Crowley and wait for it to switch and see if maybe it was going to have a clean train coming northbound, but with the temperature slightly warm, with rain in the forecast, with my desire to not add a bunch of pictures to the backlog, and with my back slightly achy even though I very easily hoisted myself atop the truck already, I decided that today isn’t a good day too sit in the truck and read and pace around while the train switches or whatever. I am more interested in what I can find, even if it’s nothing, around Kinder.

I’m also eager to, in general, not spend all day foaming. I have work to do. At Elton, I took a detour between Highway 26 and Langley Road, the road just north of the track, where I had never before been, and I noticed all the rice dryers and old feed places and even saw a building labeled for Supreme Rice.

From Langley Road, from Highway 1130, I photographed a water tower with a bunch of communications equipment at the top of it.

This was the first time that I travel westbound on his part of US Highway 190.

I already miss hearing from her.

Soon, I was in Kinder, where I saw loaded centerbeam flatcars.

At Kinder Yard, there were three UP family gondola cars at the northern end of the yard, SP, UP, and CNW, and, and the south southern into the yard, three tracks have fairly healthy size cuts of cars, two of them are entirely LPG tank cars, and the other is fully loaded centerbeam flatcars.

I took a little detour to the village of Stanley, where I had never visited. I thought that the place was really need until I saw a Trump flag flying at one of the nicest houses in the village. Actually I still think it’s kind of a neat place.

Just before I saw the trunk bag, I was thinking about how a lot of liberal and progressive people talk about sacrificing for the greater good of the community, and they skip the question or whether it’s something to which you can legitimately lay a claim that you earned, like land, like healthcare, resources like to eat, and like teachers.

I thought about heading southwest from here along the Lake Charles Sub to Lake Charles, maybe getting in town early enough to see some Port Rail action, but I decided to keep going west, and I figure I’ll probably find nothing, but I have never been this way westbound. So, this would be a good diversion.

There was a Dodge truck riding my tail as I moved westward.

Anyway, I arrived in the railroad-junction town of DeQuincy.

Here I am just after 11:00 looking eastward at CS Junction.

At left is the KCS mainline west of town, and at right is the UP mainline that meets the KCS line behind me.

I went to the northern side of the UP yard.

It was peaceful here, a little bit windy. The peace would be very much interrupted, and not by anything related to the railroad, before I left.

I was now feeling better. I was walking around, my back not hurting as much. I was wondering what I missed this morning, if I missed the port train in Lake Charles, if I could have made it there from Eunice and Kinder, what I gave up in the process of coming here.

I guess that I’ll go check out the yard there in the port before I go to the house. Maybe I should walk around here in DeQuincy the kind of straighten out my back while killing some time waiting for a train to show up, because I’d like to leave, and I’d like to get a Kansas City Southern train here!

For 2021, these are some neat old cars in the UP yard.

As I attempted to leave the area, that’s when the white terrorism happened.

Some white terrorists dude approached me there I was just shooting pictures at cars, and he asked me what I was doing, for my name. I told him what my name is, and I asked him what his name was, and he’s like “what’s mine?”

But he never told me any got on his phone and he acted like he was calling somebody. “Come by my house right now,” he said into the telephone.

He may have been faking it, I don’t know, and I’m probably never going to know. But but he is a shirtless white dude with tattoos and a cigarette, and I went into my truck, I didn’t run; I just walked in to get into my truck to leave like I was going to do anyway, and he read my license plate into his phone, if he was talking to anybody at all, which, you know, he may have been, and as I’m driving he says “b****, get the f***.”

And yet before that he asked me what I was doing, and I said that I was taking pictures of trains and said that I do that all the time everywhere.

So that’s too weird encounters I’ve had with white assholes, white judgmental jerks at this place, and then you got to remember that Rob Anderson is from this place, that abusing predator grifter.

I got to the old KCS depot and got this tablet-computer picture.

I figured that I’d let the cops come find me here as I paced around!

I checked my e-mail.

She wrote back! She wrote back!

I came here to the depot, and then I checked my email and saw the message from her. My heart started racing until I went drink a sip of the last of my water, which is probably why I need to leave, and I came to the depot and, with my heart racing, I sat down in the western little portico area, and read her message.

She said she wants to meet me! This is great!

It’s a big coincidence that I am reading her message in the same place in which most of the pictures of myself that I sent her were taken. So after I read her message I walked back to the truck smiling, and, with perfect timing, I heard horns to the south!

So, I scurried around and got set up where I found a halfway decent shot on East Center Street, the street that is one street south of the main highway crossing where the switch to the Lake Charles Subdivision is, the southern tip of the wye that comprise the KCS junction here.

The front end of the train is crossing the UP mainline.

It was a 36 car train heading north from Lake Charles to Shreveport. 

Maybe it was an M-LCSH or an M-LCAR.

The only railroad-owned car on the train was a Norfolk Southern Railway hopper car, which was the last car of the train.

So, I did it. I saw and photographed my first KCS train since news of the CP merger was announced, and I got KCS train in DeQuincy on one of the last two days of March.

So, really, I don’t really need to come here tomorrow. Maybe I will. I don’t know. I want to get that Port train tomorrow, though.

I’m so relieved! I love the letter from her.

I figured that, with that KCS train going north, I was not likely to see another KCS train there for a while, I wanted to get to Lake Charles, and, with the message from her, I was quite content to “quit while I was ahead,” whatever that means in this context, and whatever it means is probably very revealing. So, I decided to go southward to Lake Charles.

As I drove southward from DeQuincy, I was smiling.

🙂

I felt like Tupac, “out on bail, fresh out of jail.” Okay, that was really dumb.

I got by the coal-fired power plant, and I heard on 101.3 FM the Pink Floyd song “Hey You”; it’s a rather brilliant song, I think.

In Lake Charles, as I was heading west on 12th Street, the Ozzy Osbourne song “Shot in the Dark” started playing as I pass the office!

That’s perfect! My letter was a shot in the dark, she responded, and I heard the “Hey You” song!

It was a shot in the dark that I’d see any action on Port Rail after midday.

I got to the Port Of Lake Charles, and, at 13:39, I see this.

Whoah! This is a big first for me!

This is the first time that I see wind-turbine blades loaded on flatcars at the Port Of Lake Charles.

Furthermore, if the locomotive attached to the cars is any indication, I may soon have my first opportunity to photograph these things moving on the line to this port!

Will it happen?

Well, I am getting into position for it to happen.

Okay, so, I had to return to near the port as the move is stopped as it builds its train while also leaving the port.

I went to the port administration office so that I could get a risky but goodly different shot that showed more of the blades on flatcars and the highway sign at the automobile entrance to the port.

It was a risky shot because there is no way out of this parking lot to the street that doesn’t involve crossing the track where this train is about to pass!

And that’s what I realized right before I snapped this shot, which I think that I did with my truck in drive gear.

About five seconds later, I was on the other side of the track.

Wow, it’s really happening!

It’s happening! I’m finally getting some pictures of wind-turbine blades moving along West Sallier Street on a Port Rail train!

Forgive me for being repetitive here.

Next, I am at Ernest Street, where we see the street-trough running!

Isn’t that neat?

Now we see it, unobstructed by automobiles.

I think that these are the shots of the day right here.

Yeah, baby, that’s it, that’s Port Rail moving wind-turbine blades that were loaded onto railroad cars at the Port Of Lake Charles along the streets of Lake Charles.

Thank you, sir.

Let’s see the blades and the end of the train.

Wait, what is that you see in the distance of the below shot?

Yeah, I heard horns out in the distance near the end of the (first) train as it was passing me.

Apparently, it was just another Port Rail job stretching out of the port this way so as to be able to shove some of the empty blade cars into a track to be loaded.

Back to our loaded train, notice the steel plates on the ends of some flatcars to counterbalance the weight of the load that is borne by the other end of the car.

Isn’t that neat?

Next, I got the train at 5th Avenue.

If I used a gun to shoot a person on 5th Avenue, I’d probably lose supporters, but since I used a camera to shoot a wind-turbine-blade train on 5th Avenue, I will lose no supporters.

At this point, I was very hungry. I went to Taco Bell to get food. This was a mistake for multiple reasons.

First, the trip to Taco Bell made me late for catching the train coming out of the interchange yard to make its return trip to the port. I finally caught up with the train, 15 hopper cars, most of them BNSF cars, at Lake Street.

That’s a good-looking train!

Hey, it’s a Burlington Northern logo on an unmolested car right behind a fairly clean blue-and-white GATX locomotive in 2021!

That’s neat!

It’s almost as neat as the wind-turbine blades moving east a little while before!

The second major reason that going to Taco Bell when I did was a mistake was that, when I grabbed one of the chalupas out of the bag while driving to eat it because I was so damn hungry, some of the stuff inside the chalupa came out and landed on front of the small lens. When I got out to swap lenses at the West Walnut Street and then sprint up the stairs to get the shot, I did not take the effort or inclination or time or whatever to clean off the front of the lens, because I had no time.

So, I took the pictures with the food on the lens!

And then I wondered why is this blob on this lens so I had to rub it off. That’s not good!

Damn that graffiti. I was able to rub some of the sour cream or whatever it was off of the lens for this going-away shot.

Oh, well.

That’s all for pictures for today, and it was a good day!

I did it! I finally caught the wind turbine blades moving on the Port Rail track in Lake Charles! What a day this has been! I got the hat trick of Acadiana Railway action in Eunice, a KCS train coming off of the Lake Charles Subdivision in DeQuincy, and not just a Port Rail train but a Port Rail train carrying wind turbine blades! (followed by it pulling BNSF hopper cars in the other direction.) And my interest wrote back saying that she wanted to meet!

Today is a wonderful day! Today gives me hope! I had to deal with heat and rain and clouds and sun and it kept changing back and forth. The lighting was not good. But I got some presentable shots.

There was a BNSF Railway locomotive and nothing else in that little yard northwest of the Highway 397 crossing.

I arrived at the house in Lake Charles at 16:43, tired and in need of another shower. 

I hope that you liked the pictures.

As always, remember, if you like the content here and can support Jimbaux’s Journal, even for as little as $1 per month, please do so by becoming a patron on Patreon.

Merci.

Jim

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