Edition #31, June 1, 2006
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Sunset on the Missabe
Photographer: Mike Raia
Photo by Mike Raia
Sunset on the Missabe
When I started planning my railfan trips for 2005, one of my top “to do’s” was going back to northern Minnesota to photograph the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railway. I had always enjoyed photographing the Missabe and thought this might be one of the last opportunities to photograph pure Missabe lash-ups. I planned my trip for the end of June hoping that the LTV F units might be running. Unfortunately the F’s didn’t start running until the fall. No problem, I would just concentrate all my time on the Missabe. There were a few pictures I wanted to get to help fill in the gaps from previous trips.
After a successful day of photographing ore trains on the range, I drove south toward the Missabe yards at Proctor. By the time I reached Proctor a thunderstorm had developed. I decided to grab a little dinner and wait the storm out. The rain continued to fall and I felt my photography was done for the day. As I continued through dinner watching the rain, I could see a clearing line developing. I hurriedly finished my dinner and headed north along the Missabe.
Driving north along the Missabe a beautiful sunset was developing before my eyes. The only problem was where to photograph it. I was hoping there was a southbound ore train out on the line, but the radio was quiet. My next idea was to find a signal or crossbuck that I could incorporate into the scene. I frantically drove from crossing to crossing looking for a shot. Finally, I came upon a crossing at Coons. The light looked good and there was a crossbuck that fit into the scene. The next problem was the bird size mosquitoes that were waiting for me to get out of the car. After dousing myself with Deep Forest OFF I was able to start photographing the scene from various angles. I spent several minutes photographing the scene as the sun faded. As I watched the last few minutes of the sunset, I realized that the sun was truly setting on the Missabe.
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