(Unknown) WA July 2 2011 — This is my $75 shot of SP (ORHF 4449 in the Columbia River Gorge. The day started out nicely with my arrival at Cooks plenty early. Three hours later I heard 4449 trip the detector at MP 61 and I ran to my planned position. Unfortunately, a westbound loaded coal train came up behind me and proceeded to completely obscure my planned photos. Of course it wasn’t the train or train crews’ fault. It was just my bad luck. My wife and I quickly got in her trusty Sonoma to try to catch 4449 farther east in the Gorge. Then I fell into a whole nest of dumbass snakes. As we rounded a curve I told the wife to take a road to the left as I was sure it would lead me to a high vantage point and a pretty good picture. However, I turned about 20 miles too early. Some three miles later I noticed we were heading pretty much straight north. Around we came to backtrack to SR 14. We got to the intersection about ten minutes after 4449 passed and had to wait on about 45 chase cars. The train got to Wishram long before we did and I got a pretty bad shot from the bluff. It stopped there for a catered lunch while the engine was serviced and the train was reversed on the wye. Aha, I thought! If we head west to Stevenson, have lunch at a really great Mexican food restaurant, and proceed farther west I felt certain I would find a location for a stunning westbound picture of 4449 returning to Portland, Darn, we went almost all the way to Cape Horn before I realized I had no idea where to get a great shot. Around we came again and headed for a so-so site I saw earlier. I took this bird in the hand and stopped. About five other railfans and I awaited 4449's arrival which came after only about 15 minutes. Here is the result. It took us $50 in gas and some $25 for lunch. I returned home happy though. I love seeing 4449 go by at speed. What a sight. My photo.