Abandoned Railroad

Abandoned floppy disk on tracks

This week’s photo challenge is “abandoned” — kind of like this blog was for a few months. 😉

A few years back, I explored a disused spur of railroad tracks branching off of the main line into a light industrial area of town. In many places, the tracks had already been ripped out, leaving only gravel paths (and in some cases stepping stones, as seen below) between buildings that no longer needed freight access.

I found this floppy disk sitting on the track, and the combination of an obsolete data technology and what I thought of at the time as an obsolete transportation technology just struck me.

A path of stepping stones between two buildings.The funny thing is, trains in the form of light rail have made a resurgence in the last few years. Los Angeles’ Metro rail system, started in the 1990s, has expanded dramatically. I actually commuted myself along the Green Line at one point, and while normally that meant driving halfway there to pick up the end of the line, there were a few times I tried picking up a connecting (well, not quite connecting) train from Metrolink, at a station not far from this spot. In fact, the track in the first two photos has since been converted into a footpath connecting a shuttle stop to the commuter rail station.


Chasing the Golden Hour

 Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time looking for a good spot to take photos during the golden hour late Saturday afternoon. There was an open space with electrical towers nearby that I thought would make for some interesting pictures. But the clouds rolled in as I drove down the street, and I spent the next hour racing inland, trying to stay ahead of the marine layer.

The best shot I got of the bunch, with clouds intermittently covering and revealing the sun, was this one. It’s the historic Pacific Electric Railway Bridge in Torrance, California, which I stumbled across a few years back completely on accident. What makes it an even better choice is that when I first found it, I shot it in broad daylight. You can really see the difference that lighting makes!

Railroad Bridge

At this point, I started heading into the hills, figuring I’d focus on the clouds instead of the lighting, though on the way I spotted this view of a hilltop lit up by the sun. I could see it from halfway across town, and wasn’t sure I’d make it before the sun dipped too low or the clouds rolled in to block the light.

Hilltop Lit by Sunset

The park I’d planned to go to for views above the cloud layer turned out to be in the cloud layer. The fog was hitting the west face of the hills, moving over, and just barely pouring over the summit ridges. I took my first Instagram video, of low clouds racing across the sky before dissipating.

I finally went to another park on the inland side of the hills, and found myself in a clear space surrounded by a wall of clouds to the west and south. This is the view to the west, with the fog backlit by the sun.

Backlit Fog Creeping Over the Hills

This particular park is a great place to get away from it all for a while, so I stuck around for a few minutes to just relax before heading home for the evening.