Which Way ?

I should be packing – we are leaving Sunday for a 4-6 week camping trip to the Pacific Northwest. Today my task is to get most of the food in the trailer so I sat down to make lists. I also checked e-mails and looked at the photos I took yesterday on our photo safari to the old train yard. It was called the Junction by people who lived in Jackson, because the city was the central location in Michigan for passenger and shipping rail services. During the heyday of rail travel, there were trains coming and going from all directions. You can tell that I have been derailed from my original goal of packing.

Rail yard 363

I am feeling a little unsettled today, which is probably why I am writing this post instead of getting ready to leave. Transitions from home to travel do that to me, but I think it is also the way we plan on traveling. I decided I didn’t want to travel on a schedule and that is unsettling for someone who likes to have everything planned out and under control.

We know what direction we are traveling in and we have decided that we will go to the upper peninsula to get on highway 2 on Sunday. We also know we want to stay at Marquette on Lake Superior for that first night. Because we prefer the state highways to the interstate, we will take highway 2 across the northern US to Glacier National Park but our plans are pretty loose after that. Maybe I should call our plans flexible because that sounds better. I can be in control of my destiny while still being flexible.

Rail yard 358

Manual Track Switch

I really like the idea of being able to shift tracks if we find something interesting. I bought several tour books and have been marking things I’d like to do. We can read these and plan our trip as we go, one of the benefits of being retired and having a flexible time frame.

Mechanism that switches the tracks.

Mechanism that switches the tracks.

Another reason we have chosen to be flexible instead of all-planned-out is that I need to travel at a pace that is comfortable. On last year’s trip to Newfoundland we both needed and enjoyed having a slow day every three or four days – maybe do a little sightseeing but also have time for an afternoon nap. This slow day can be our day for planning “which way” we want to go on the next leg of our journey. But now I have to get packing!

Cee has provided her readers with weekly opportunities to post photos and stories of “which way” they are moving through the world. You can see for yourself by clicking here.

One Scene, Two Stories

The title I chose relates to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge this week of One Shot, Two Ways. Jeff Sinon had written a great post on when to use landscape and portrait photography to best portray what we want to tell. This week’s photo challenge is to demonstrate what we learned from Jeff’s post. Great fun!

Friend Julie and I ended up in Blissfield Michigan for lunch during our weekly photo safari this week. Blissfield happened to be a stop on the Erie & Kalamazoo Railroad, which was the first railroad west of the Allegheny Mountains to use steam locomotives in 1837. The historical marker says that if the locomotive ran out of wood or water, the passengers had to scour the country side for more. What was I saying in an earlier post about the good old days?

The railway platform is still standing and maintained, and made for a wonderful photo opportunity. Here are two of my images, one taken with landscape and the other portrait. It seems that both are very nice photos but each suggests a very different story as they portray the vision of a traveler.

Blissfield 112Blissfield 145

What fun it is to do photography to tell the story of others who have walked in this place at another time, under different circumstances. One of the tools we have available to us in telling these stories with photography is whether we use landscape or portrait. I agree with Jeff, that neither is right but it depends on the subject matter and what we want to accomplish.

If you want more examples of this, or think you have a good example, visit the follow site for more information.



CCC – Caboose

caboose 081

When Jim’s brother was alive he liked toys – and one of the toys he bought was a caboose that he had delivered and set on a short set of rails in his private park. For those of you who have always wondered what the inside of a caboose looks like, well here is your private tour.

This may be the end of the caboose but not of the fun. You can join in by visiting Frizz and his merry band of alphabet chasers by clicking here.┬áBest part is that Frizz will serenade you if you visit – but unfortunately not with Chattanooga Choo Choo.