Heat of the Day
Milwaukee memories abound in this photograph of a hot summer day in St. Maries, ID. Two GPs that trace their lineage back to days of orange and black stand ready to haul empty log cars to the reload. The log cars themselves can trace their heritage back to the Milwaukee. Even one of switchstands among the many yard tracks still bears the chevron markings of its former owner. Pictured here is the St. Maries Railroad in its final summer as a log hauler, 2009. It's a hot day, and the rising heat is captured through the lens of a big telephoto. The final image is distorted, but says "summer time" just as clearly as the smell of creosote.
Though the St. Maries RR remains in place to haul wood products from producers in St. Maries to the Union Pacific connection at Plummer Junction, the days of ancient log cars traversing the Elk River Branch are over. The flats have been torched, and the line south of St. Maries is quiet but for the continuous sounds of the nearby river it closely paralleled.