Old 04-21-2008, 02:24 PM   #1
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So I decided to take my morning and go down through Granby Park here in Columbia to where the NS trestle crosses the Congaree River. I have shots taken from the Cayce sid, but not the COlumia side and an NS train usually comes through between 9 and 10 am. This lets me use the good morning sun and avoid the high sun of mid afternoon.

I also knew that in the summer, the vegetation and brush grows up too much and I wouldn't be able to get down there like I did a month or so ago sans a train.

So I go off the beaten path. I'm surprised there aren't gates or something telling you not to leave the actual Granby Park, but there aren't. So I have the navigate a little culvert to get to the path. Meanwhile, I hear a train whistle. Sounds like CSX, not NS, but still I'd like to get into position as soon as I can.

But it soon becomes apparent that there is too much growth already. Funny how things just pop up. A month ago, I could get down to the river, stand on some rocks out in the open and wait. I could even navigate over to the CSX trestle, even though it's much more photogenic from the Cayce side.

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So now I realize there's no hope for a good shot from this side. And when you really get down to it, a shot of the NS trestle on this side actually looks just like a shot of the NS trestle from the other side. Just flipped around.

Image ©
PhotoID:
Photograph ©


So I turn around and go the same way out that I came in. I figure I'd just head to Riverfront Park. The walk is longer, but it's all on a paved trail and the scene is better. It's just not in my backyard.

I come to the culvert. It looked easier to cross from the other side. The ground is a little slippery, so I step on a rock with my left leg. I'm always very careful when doing stuff like this, so I test my footing. It's fine, I think. So with my left foot firmly, yes, firmly, on the rock, I lift my right leg up to jump over the culvert.

Bam.

Before I know what happens, my left leg gives and I come right down on my left knee, twisting my ankle in the process. Then my right knee hits and somehow I fall through a rotten wooden plank that had in the past been what people used to cross over the culvert. My camera bag is on my left arm, so I only have my right arm to brace the fall. I'm trying to grab a hold of something with it and end up getting it under me an instant before my head hits a rock below.

Great.

Without thinking, I jump up cussing and climb out of the culvert. That's when the pain hits. My left leg feels like it's on fire. I have ditr and leaves falling out of my hair and a good pair of jeans now has a rip in them.

And it's a half mile walk mostly up hill on a trail to get to the parking lot that leads to my apartment. So now an hour and a half later, the wife to whom I am married has cleaned up the leg, bandaged it and here I sit feeling pretty dog gone stupid. I'm not supposed to be at work until 2:30 today, but I can barely put pressure on my left leg, so I may have to call in.

Can't wait to explain that one.
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:34 PM   #2
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The things we do for what is supposed to a hobby!!

Look on the bright side. You could try using this bruising experince to get sympathy from your family and friends - unless they decide that you needed locking up in a secure location for your own safety

Hope there's nothing too serious Joe. Let us know how you get on.
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Old 04-21-2008, 02:37 PM   #3
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I'll be fine in a day or two. It just hurts like crap today. It hurts worse today than last fall when I got taken out at the legs at a football game by a wide receiver and safety. At least then I was getting paid for it! It'll be a story to tell.


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Old 04-21-2008, 03:35 PM   #4
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Watch it carefully Joe. Don't be afraid to see the Doc if things don't get steadily better. You don't want to get an infection. Those can be serious and are best dealt with promptly.

Hope you feel better soon!
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:50 PM   #5
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Ouch,

Hope youre ok.

I broke my foot after falling off a ballast pile once. It slid as i was standing on it. and my foot got caught and i felt a pinch. Dealt with it for a month before i went to see a doctor. they took x-rays and asked if it was painful to walk. I said yea, it hurt like heck. Found out i split a bone in my foot in half. after 6 weeks in a walking boot, i saw a specialist and ended up under the knife. They ended up taking the piece of bone out because the only holding it in place was a piece of tendon. Less than a week after the surgery though, I was hobbling around railfanning.
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:26 PM   #6
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In ten years of active railfanning, this is the only real incident I've had other than a blown engine and various flat tires. But it's bleeding again, so I think I'm off to see a doctor.


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Old 04-21-2008, 06:51 PM   #7
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Don't be too hard on yourself, Joe. Accidents can happen while railfanning, it just goes with the territory. Hope the doctor visit goes well.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:36 PM   #8
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Seriously Joe... don't be so hard on yourself. Accidents happen... just because this one happened when you were trying to do something you have fun doing doesn't make it any less of an unavoidable accident.


I bottomed out on a mound of dirt and got myself stuck a mile off road about a year or so ago while fanning... cost close to $300 to get the car out. My first reaction was... that's it... no more railfanning until I've paid myself back that money... but reality is stuff happens and it could have happened otherise too.
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:16 PM   #9
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You should've seen the battle scars I got while trying to get this shot:

Image © Gerald Oliveto
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Photograph © Gerald Oliveto


First off, New Jersey is just blanketed with thorn bushes, which just aren't fun at all. Then I attempted to cross the stream and lost my footing when the embankment collapsed. Slammed my shin pretty good on one of the old rails. Hurt for a while and I had a nice bruise, but at least I got the shot!
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:24 PM   #10
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This reminds me of the time I tried to jump over a ditch in Minnesota. The ditch looked like it was only about three inches deep. Easy, right? So I go to jump, expecting to bounce once in the shallow water in the middle. Except that the shallow water was actually three inches of water resting on three feet of mud. And suddenly I'm up to my waist in mud.

I managed to wriggle out of there, but I lost my pants, shoes, and wallet. The camera was safe, but I was suddenly 500 miles from home, covered in mud, with no shoes and next to no money. I made it back home alright, and I still maintain that the photo was worth it.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ryan
I made it back home alright, and I still maintain that the photo was worth it.
SHOW US THE PICTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





Good luck recovering, Joe, I hope its a minor injury..
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:12 PM   #12
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Yeah, I know J wasn't talking to me, he was talking to John, but I thought I'd share these pictures of my stupidity in the hope that they bring a smile to Joe's face in his hour of pain.
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks
but I thought I'd share these pictures of my stupidity
I too have had need of a tow truck during railfanning, and unfortunately my son and I drive by the road in question every so often. So I get plenty of reminders of my stupidity.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks
Yeah, I know J wasn't talking to me, he was talking to John, but I thought I'd share these pictures of my stupidity in the hope that they bring a smile to Joe's face in his hour of pain.
Charles, I bet you told him to wait until the train arrived to start hoisting the car, right? The guy probably thought you were nuts.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freericks
Yeah, I know J wasn't talking to me, he was talking to John, but I thought I'd share these pictures of my stupidity in the hope that they bring a smile to Joe's face in his hour of pain.
It didt! Thank you.



My tow truck moment came a few years ago chasing an ordinary military train with BNSF power over the CSX. I was on a bridge that connects York ad Lancaster county trying to get to a neat curve in Van Wyck, knowing if I made it, it would be by seconds.

Suddenly the car just died. I was worried because the road I was on was -- for that matter, is -- one of the most dangerous in the state and now I'm in a car I can't steer that won't do anything. So I get the car to limp off the bridge as a line of cars lines up behind me. There was no way I could actually get it off the road without pushing it.

Suddenly there was an amulance behind me and one of the guys was hopping out of the passenger side to give me a push. I looked at him and said, "You guys are early." Usually they wait for the wreck to happen first. It was a blown engine, by the way, on a car with 250,000 miles on it.

I was in the same car out in Arkansas chasing a BNSF train with four SD40-2s. Three of them were green and black BNs, but the fourth unit was a white Kansas City Southern unit. I had never seen a white one in person before and haven't seen one since.

So we're giving chase from Turell to Marion and probably wouldhave made it to a neat curve had it not been for that nail in the road which blew a tire out. A sheriff's deputy helped me change the tire and in the coversation, I told him I had come over from South Carolina to shoot trains and one that I wanted had just passed. He just smiled and said, "Don't worry. There's more where that one came from."

Thanks for the well wishes, by the way. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow.


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Old 04-22-2008, 02:11 AM   #16
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I fell down a cliff to get this shot:
Image © Matthew Hicks
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Photograph © Matthew Hicks

You'll get better, and the photo will be there. It's all good!
btw, why do you saturate your shots SO much?
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Old 04-22-2008, 04:54 AM   #17
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Joe, when are you going to tell us about the moron? 'Cause if you mean yourself, then I guess we all fit that description.

So in the spirit of making you feel better, mines not an injury but pretty stupid nonetheless.

This past December, Oregon's Blue mountains, near Meacham. We're in two vehicles, I'm the last in to a pocket near the tracks. We all bail out to get setup. With heavy gloves on (22 degrees) I open the trunk of the Ridgeline to retrieve my tripod. The keys slip out of my hand and I close up the trunk. The Ridgeline dutifully locks itself after a few seconds, a few seconds before I realize I can't find my keys.

I've blocked the other vehicle from leaving, it's a Saturday and we can't get a car out. It's so cold none of us think the first call should be to AAA, instead we try finding a locksmith in La Grande, no luck. About the time a lug wrench is being considered to pry open the trunk, somebody says "do you have AAA?" Of course I do, and after about 20 minutes of transferring calls from Washington to Oregon, we get to talk to the local tow truck driver, who is about 15 minute away in Meacham.

We have a UP engineer with us and he gets on the phone with the two truck driver and in a few minutes, the tow truck driver knows exactly where we are.

Bonus: While waiting at the top of the old Highway, to be sure the tow truck doesn't miss us, we a here a zing and then a loud bang. A hunter has apparently and errantly fired over our heads. The two of us waiting at the road decide it's safer down out of the line of fire and hustle down the hill to the cover of our vehicles.

As the photo shows the tow truck driver found us. He spent more time getting the door unlocked then it took to drive to us. And yes the keys were in the trunk.

All was not lost, we got to shoot two trains while waiting for my mistake to be fixed.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:51 AM   #18
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You won't be doing that again! Hope you get better soon, Joe!
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Old 04-22-2008, 11:58 AM   #19
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Hope you live Joe Sucks for sure. I keep a flat cut key in my billfold, saved my butt more than one time.
It is not hard to die out there, a fall, car crash, getting hurt so bad you cant get out or back to the car. And a lot of times were out in the sticks on roads that don't see 2 cars a hour or a lot less some times. May be worth getting a good first aide kit in the car or truck. If you have a HAM Radio learn how to make a mayday call or become a ham. Thinking a head just may save you some day.
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Old 04-22-2008, 12:55 PM   #20
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I always keep a spare set when I am out like that on long trips. I usually hand them to someone in the passenger seat saying that they must be kept on them at all times or else they are in my pocket and never out unless needed. Done it once, never again.
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