This Space for Rent

Out on the line

A familiar Eng! in a different city

A P&W freight scurries southwards through Canby this afternoon, passing in front of EPT802 (the New Working Eng! of posts past,) which was moved down to the Molalla & Western a year or so ago. I was paused at approximately the halfway point of a 95km loop to take pictures of the 802 when I heard a train blowing for crossings north of the M&W junction, and since I had just missed a southbound Amtrak train (I was three blocks east of 99e when I heard the distinctive Amtrak whistle, and by the time I made it to a street that was perpendicular to 99e and the Yellow Menace mainline the crossing gates were just lifting. And Amtrak moves through Canby, so by the time I’d ridden the three blocks over to the crossing there was nothing to be seen but a cloud of dust) I was certainly going to wait to see what showed up, even if it was going to be nothing but a Yellow Menace freight.

Happily, it wasn’t, and aside from the picture of it scooting in front of EPT802, I also got a more conventional RR+scenery picture of the oncoming train:

Engs! and volcanos

Eng!s aside, this was a fairly slow trip. Oregon City is built in traditional river town fashion, where it’s got a thin strip along the river and then it’s built up the side of the bluff. I was intending to ride down to Oregon City, cross over to the west side of the Willamette, then ride down to Willamette Falls and scale Pete’s Mountain via Pete’s Mountain Road and the 2km of 1 in 10 grade, but the Oregon City bridge was closed for some sort of water works project, so I instead turned east and rode up through Oregon City to OR213 (and then south until I saw a sign saying “CANBY→”) and was unpleasantly surprised by the continual upping and upping of the road (including some stretches that felt far more enthusiastic than a 1 in 10 grade) until it reached the end of that lobe of the Boring lava field and dropped enthusiastically down to Mulino, where I found the “CANBY→” sign of my dreams (thus missing the M&W enginehouse at Liberal, which was only 2-3 miles down the road. Oh well, it’ll be something for another day.) And because of all of that upping and upping, I only had enough puff to hoist myself up the side of the bluff at the north terminal of the Canby Ferry, which made the next 10km and 180m climb up Pete’s Mountain really slow (and it took me about 5km to realize that the reason I was slow was that I’d burned through all of the fud I’d eaten before I left home. The emergency application of a cookie bar made the second 5km of Pete’s Mountain a lot faster, and kept me moving forward until I could reach my snap-decision control at the Gladstone Burgerville (after I sweettalked myself across the Oregon City bridge even though it was closed; West Linn has a Burgerville which I could have used, but that would have meant I would need to loop through downtown Portland, which would have meant that I wouldn’t have gotten home until after the annoyed family hour. And I do not wish to get home after the annoyed family hour,) where I could shotgun a fish sandwich to get me home.)

If I don’t count the time spent taking pictures of trains, waiting to take pictures of trains, chatting with other people, eating, and dropping off clothes at Goodwill (it’s an Xtracycle, after all, and I wanted to get the bag of goodwill clothes out of the front hall,) I averaged something on the order of 22 km/h. If I do count that time, it drops down to a just-barely-fast-enough-for-randonneuring 16 km/h, which is slothful even for me. Perhaps this will be the incentive I need to find a better way of attaching a front rack to my bike so I can have camera + junkfood easily available when I’m in transit.