Wyoming '99: Monday
After gallumphing along another set of rock-strewn dirt roads, kids bouncing in the back watching for pronghorn antelope (on nearly every hill) and cows and horses and such, we came into a valley, turned a bend, and saw before us a huge earthen wall, obviously man-made, very flat top, blocking the valley. This was (said our guide Dixie) the biggest fill anywhere on the Union Pacific railroad.
To get there, we had to keep on driving up a road that looked like this. Sometimes the mound running down the middle of the road was higher; sometimes the road was nearly flat. None of us were in high-suspension vehicles.
We drove up the side of the valley and through a culvert tunnel to get to the other side of the fill. On the other side, a road traversed the fill itself.
Once we got to the tracks, we found this solar-powered station right at the juncture of two rails, which were covered in a pool of heavy black oil. Doug promptly put his white leather sneaker right in. Luckily it wasn't tar, so it wiped mostly clean with enough paper towels. Here Chris inspects the rails to make sure they're sound. Speaking of sound, we heard the sound of an approaching locomotive . . .