This is another tourist attraction we did not do when we were in the area this summer. I am also happy about that, because it was unique and unseen. I am surprised that we did not drive the road that runs along the train tracks. I think Roy needs to take me back to Hill City to do the back road along side the train.
The tour was not my up before dawn tour, for this I was very thankful. I need to give a shout out to all of the volunteers who checked people in when they board the bus for a tour. The first night when I was unsure of myself Jan and John took me under their wing and made sure I had my walker (although I could have used a 4×4 walker or a scooter this week.) On this tour we had Joanne doing the check-in.
Once on the bus we headed to the Hill City depot for the 1880s Train, where we were greeted by our train yard tour guide for the behind the scenes pictures. (This is where a 4×4 walker would have come in handy). I decided to shoot in black and white for the most part because for me old trains cry out for B/W. I also tried to focus on small parts of the train, this way your mind has to imagine the missing parts or figure out what it is. The steam locomotive was getting ready to start the day so there was a bit of house keeping to be done. Basically the train had to blow off steam, this is done away from the other trains and humans. So off I go back onto the grass and the shade of a big pine tree to capture a blow.
Check out the video.
Later on down the line they had to blow it again, did not get that on film.
the 1880s train does not have a bad seat, every window opened and we had a car almost all to ourselves. This was a round trip from Hill City to Keystone and back again. So we were able to ride up on one side for that scenery and on the return catch the other side. Right outside of Hill City there is a grade that shows us how well the chant ‘I think I can I think I can I know I can is applied. (I did not have to get out and push, so that was good). The fact I was able to lean out a window and get a picture of the engine as it came around a curve was cool.
Arriving at the station in Keystone we had a fifteen minute layover I did not hustle to the depot our car was in the middle of the train. I used my fifteen minutes to take pictures of changing the engine to the other end of the train. The return trip was all down hill at least we had good brakes. I will let you know that on the way back I did not hang out the window as the rocks are quite close to the train.
So not so many pictures on the way home.
Overall this was a full day for me and and I had an easy night to relax and enjoy. This is one ride I would recommend taking if you are in Hill City or Keystone SD. Spending time in each little town is also highly suggested.