SP 4449 Deschutes Steam Special - October 21,2012 - Romancing a Train

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Harcourts - The Carl Group

SP 4449 - Deschutes Steam Special - Romancing a Train

SP 4449Once voted the most popular train in the nation, there’s no denying the romance of the Southern Pacific 4449 - especially during a recent excursion called the Deschutes Steam Special. My husband and I are returning home from a trip to Bend, Oregon when we spot a plume of steam in the distance.

It’s a clear October morning and our intended destination is a simple trip up over Mount Hood back to Portland ( actually, Camas, Washington).  Our conversation ambles between NPR topics on the radio, and speculation about dinner. We are caught off guard by a sudden impulse that immerses us in Old West history.

Climbing a slight elevation in the road, we first see the faint remnants of steam appear on the eastern horizon. The dusty sagebrush hills are a natural backdrop for the bright, white clouds hanging in the air. Anxious to find the source, we speed up a bit and get our first glance at the one of the most famous trains in modern rail history.

We cruise along together for awhile and marvel at the awesome size and power of the machine. Pulling several passenger cars, some also historic, the steam engine sprints through the scenic landscape on its way home to Portland, OR. Passengers have paid a premium to be on-board for this two day journey.

Just after Terrebonne, the road suddenly rises up an overpass and the engine crosses back under the road and splits off, away from our view. All that remains are huge plumes of steam hanging in the air - a haunting mist.  It’s a reminder that the men of the railroad - much like cowboys, are a dying breed.

The romantic lure of the SP 4449 provokes an impulsive stop.

We’re not done. The exhilaration of seeing such a powerful sight, plus a desire to stay away from the true “train chasers,” takes us on an impulsive side trip to a spot where we suspect the train will intersect. Serendipity, plus an untimely delay on the tracks rewards us with a spectacular experience.

Train loving locals, retired railroad men, and a representative from Southern Pacific are lined up at the crossing near the small town of Culver. We enjoy listening to their old war stories as we wait 45 minutes for the train to arrive. As the SP 4449 - Deschutes Steam Special roars by and quickly moves out of sight, for some reason, I catch myself crying.

 


Thanks for watching. You can always find me at exploringclarkcounty.com

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ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
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Rainmaker
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Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Debb: What an adventure and a fun way to spend a ride home.  I know you must be elated that you decided to chase the train and watch it steam past.

Nov 03, 2012 12:46 PM #1
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
Harcourts - The Carl Group - Camas, WA
REALTORs® in Clark County, WA

Anita, it was quite unexpected and I was surprised to find myself caught up in it all. Very emotional experience.

Nov 03, 2012 12:48 PM #2
Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
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Many would love to take an excursion trip on this train.  Great blog.

Have an outstanding weekend.  Enjoy the colors of the season with your camera in hand.

Nov 03, 2012 12:49 PM #3
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Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Debb - What a great experience and what a magnificent piece of machinery! It's so rare to see those anymore out doing their job - I probably would have become a bit emotional too. Thanks for sharing that great video!

Nov 03, 2012 12:55 PM #4
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
Harcourts - The Carl Group - Camas, WA
REALTORs® in Clark County, WA

Thanks Roy. I appreciate the visit and the time to watch the video and read the story. Happy Saturday.

Dick, it was an unexpected rush of emotion - very powerful nostalgia. I so appreciate you and your understanding of the experience.

Nov 03, 2012 01:04 PM #5
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John McCormack
Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com - Albuquerque, NM
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Thanks for sharing Debb.... Both my Granddads worked the rails and I've always had a love for them.   Debbie and I have taken the Durango train to Silverton Colorado.  A days adventure both of us truly enjoyed.... It was a day of turning back the hands of time.

Nov 03, 2012 02:11 PM #6
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Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
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Debb,  She is a beauty.  I can see the attraction.  What a fun excursion for the day.  We rode the train down in Durango and it was so much fun.

Nov 03, 2012 02:16 PM #7
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
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Q-man, the most touching part of the experience was listening to all the former railroad guys and hearing them reminisce. Pretty powerful stuff.

Nov 03, 2012 02:25 PM #8
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
Harcourts - The Carl Group - Camas, WA
REALTORs® in Clark County, WA

Belinda, that must be the one Debbie and John took too.

Nov 03, 2012 02:26 PM #9
Rainmaker
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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding and Marketing

Debb,

What a great adventure you went on by happenstance.  We have a train here in SB that runs along the coast, and some of the most expensive beach homes are very close to the train tracks.  A

Nov 03, 2012 02:40 PM #10
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Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Real Estate Cafe LLC - Medford, OR
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You and Bernie are my kind of couple!  A nice fall drive in the country with an unexpected detour invokes a bit of Southern Pacific romance and nostalgia at the same time... love it!  Love the train too... Debb ;)

Nov 03, 2012 05:18 PM #11
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Debbie Reynolds
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty, Your Clarksville Real Estate Professional - Clarksville, TN
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Debb, Train rides are a blast from the past. I hope they keep some of the engines running so the experience can be enjoyed for years to come.

Nov 03, 2012 06:34 PM #12
Rainmaker
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Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Hallmark Realtors - Clark, NJ
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Oh Debb - this sounds like a fantastic adventure! I'd love to take a trip out there some day!

Nov 04, 2012 04:25 AM #13
Rainmaker
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Patricia Feager
Dallas Premier Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Debbie,

I recognized this train immediately. It's a piece of our American history. Let it go full steam ahead to all the places it needs to go safely and on time.

What a thrill! To think about how many people, young and old have been inspired by trains.

Nov 04, 2012 06:20 AM #14
Rainmaker
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Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Debb, something about a train that is magical!     Would love to do a romantic train ride some day!

Nov 04, 2012 06:54 AM #15
Rainmaker
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Brad Rachielles
CENTURY 21 Prestige Properties, Ca BRE# 01489453 - Upland, CA
REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA

Debb,

What an adventure for the day. Thank you for bringing back memories.....

..... of being a young lad in a midwestern community... after lights out on summer nights listening to the steam locomotives clackety clack and whistles blowing as they announce their passage to those at the highway crossings. Their distinctive sound passing into the distance..... and all this on a summer night, miles from any railroad tracks.

Nov 07, 2012 08:31 AM #16
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
Harcourts - The Carl Group - Camas, WA
REALTORs® in Clark County, WA

Alexandra, a true spur of the moment adventure. One I didn't know would be so enjoyable. D

Mel - you captured it exactly. ;) But then, you would. 

Nov 08, 2012 01:21 PM #17
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
Harcourts - The Carl Group - Camas, WA
REALTORs® in Clark County, WA

Debbie, it was quite magnificent steaming across this gorgeous terrain. 

 

Nov 08, 2012 01:22 PM #18
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
Harcourts - The Carl Group - Camas, WA
REALTORs® in Clark County, WA

Team Zuhl - mystical and magical experience in many ways. I felt a connection to a time long ago...

Patricia = this was my first time being smitten by a train. :)

Hi Joan, yes, I think of old movies where romance took place on a long train ride. Lol. 

Nov 08, 2012 01:23 PM #19
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
Harcourts - The Carl Group - Camas, WA
REALTORs® in Clark County, WA

Brad, the whistle is mournful, yet also quite comforting. Hard to describe really. Glad it stirred up fond memories...

Nov 08, 2012 01:24 PM #20
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