Spirit of the Mississippi—Part 2

Savanna, Illinois.

On April 2, 1995, I spent the afternoon with Tom and Mike Danneman perched atop a bluff photographing trains along the Mississippi River. With three SD40-2s, you just know that this westbound was making a great sound along the river! Exposed on Kodachrome 25 with a Nikon F3T.
On April 2, 1995, I spent the afternoon with Tom and Mike Danneman perched atop a bluff photographing trains along the Mississippi River. With three SD40-2s, you just know that this westbound was making a great sound along the river! Exposed on Kodachrome 25 with a Nikon F3T.

A favorite location along the river was the Mississippi Palisades Park a few miles north of Savanna. Back in the mid-1990s, Mike and Tom Danneman and I would park at the public lot near river level and follow a designated hiking trail to one of several overlooks.

There standing on a plateau a top a river bluff made from millions of years of sediment, we command grand views of the river.

At the time, Burlington Northern would run a parade of trains in the afternoon and we’d photograph these roaring up and down the old Chicago, Burlington & Quincy line. This was a versatile location, good for photos at all times of the day. I don’t know that we ever tired of it.

At other times, we’d try angles from river level as well.

I often looked for angles that put the railroad in context with the river. Burlington Northern's well-polished rails glint in the evening sun on April 2, 1995.
I often looked for angles that put the railroad in context with the river. Burlington Northern’s well-polished rails glint in the evening sun on April 2, 1995.
Sunset over the Mississippi on April 21, 1996. Rock climbers make for a curious silhouette. Exposed on Fujichrome Provia 100 with a Nikkormatt FTN.
Sunset over the Mississippi on April 21, 1996. Rock climbers make for a curious silhouette. Exposed on Fujichrome Provia 100 with a Nikkormatt FTN.

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