On October 18, we traveled to Elbe, Washington to take a ride on the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. This was one of their “Autumn Leaves” trips, so we were cautiously optimistic that we’d have some great foliage alongside a steam engine.
Late Saturday afternoon, we arrived in the Nisqually, WA area in time to head into Mt. Rainier National Park to take shots of the filmy clouds moving across the mountain while the sun was setting. It was a lovely sunset, and one of David’s images is attached.
On Sunday morning, we arrived early for our 10am train ride, and we were able to see some of the warm-up activities involved in getting this engine ready for the day. One of Marilyn’s shots shows steam coming from both sides of the train. Shortly after that, we were in a steam fog that made it impossible to see beyond a foot in any direction.
Although the fall colors weren’t great, we had a lovely ride up to Mineral, WA, where a logging train museum has been created. We had about a half-hour to explore the museum before our return trip to Elbe. David’s shot of an engine at the museum is attached.
With some locations for shooting in mind, we headed out to await the 12:45pm train. Sadly, it had technical difficulties, and they spent nearly an hour trying to fix things. The great news is that we stopped at our first location, which was where the train also stopped. One of Marilyn’s shots shows two men who tried to fix whatever was wrong, and another shot shows the engine when it took off.
Since we didn’t know whether the engine was going to be able to make the rest of its route, we decided to head to Northwest Trek and check out some animals while we were in the neighborhood. On the walking portion, we saw a cat or two, wolves, foxes, eagles and owls. On the tram, we saw bison, big-horned sheep, mountain goats, elk, moose, and deer.