Searching for the Steam Donkey 2010.12.27

You know when you pursue a story or a dream sometimes you find yourself within a story or a dream?

I found myself within a dreamlike story this past week as I pursued the need to find out more about my grandfather’s story.

My husband and I were driving towards Acme, Washington, USA. We were told that there was a Steam Donkey up there in the great Pacific Northwest. I felt a deep need to photograph another machine that may be more like that one that may have been similar to the one that had attacked my grandfather.

So, up North we went. We drove in the cold weather. The clouds warned us of the impending storm to come but I was insistent on my goal and my determination to capture the beast as I saw it in my mind’s eye laying dormant in the cold winter slumber and relinquished to a site that it could not harm no other no more.

So as we approached the town of Acme, a lumber town, we came upon a bridge with a train stopped atop it. I heard my husband say as we approached the rail bridge that there was a train stopped on the bridge and to this day I can still hear him saying that the train was abandoned.

Funny, isn’t it? It is all to clear now how my mind played a trick on me that day so I would hear what I wanted to hear so I could do what I wanted to do and not be afraid.

Well, I insisted we stop to take photographs of the train. What a great opportunity!

Both he and I got out of the car and separated to take photographs.
I went my way and he his…

I approached the train and I thought to myself how it might feel to see what it would be like to see the train from underneath as so many poor souls who have lost their lives or their limbs to the train. I could see without risk of life or limb an opportunity.

I took a couple of photographs and then I realized that these cars do not seem that old and at that same moment I heard a rumble and the cars began to move. Yes, it all does seem ridiculous and yes it is in retrospect. But, I was in the moment and I did not listen to my husband because he did not say what I thought he did I heard what I wanted to hear. The train was not abandoned on the tracks the train was stopped on the tracks.

So, to continue on, I am under the train and still amazed that this train is moving with the thought that this is an abandoned train.

I start to move away, still taking photos…realizing that my husband is somewhere taking photos as well I begin to scream to him DAVID!!! THE TRAIN IS MOVING___DAVID!!!!!

He is fine of course because he is wiser than I am and down on the street and photographing the train from there…

Yet, I did get some great shots!

Anyway, the moral of the story is listening, don’t go underneath any train, and always keep shooting…and sometimes when we seek answers about our past we find answers about our present. This is what I learned today while researching –searching for my Steam Donkey Project.

Searching for the Steam Donkey 2010.12.27 © 2010 Cara Schingeck

Searching for the Steam Donkey 2010.12.27 © 2010 Cara Schingeck

Searching for the Steam Donkey 2010.12.27

Cara Schingeck

Tacoma, United States

  • Artist
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