Here we are waiting for our first pass of the Big Boy. There is a lot of waiting, listening to the scanner and watching the tracking online. Ernie and I had caught a glimpse of the engine in the North Little Rock yard but couldn’t find a good spot. I pathetically texted Leo and he sent me a link to where they were. After that we mostly followed them, losing them only a time or two. Surprising side note: Leo drives much faster than Owen.

#bigboy #upsteam
and look, there’s the beautiful Ed Dickens!

I didn’t take tons of pictures. I tried to just enjoy the whole experience and watch the family, even when the heat was overwhelming. Good Lord, my shoulders even saw the sun for the first time in a long time. I can’t imagine what the heat is like for the crew in that cab. It’s got to be an absolutely grueling run for them.

We followed it from Little Rock to Poplar Bluff on Friday and from there to St. Louis on Saturday. Sunday was a viewing day so Ernie, Owen, Trinity and I took off back for home. Leo followed it to Jefferson City yesterday and today to Kansas City, home tomorrow.

A couple of times we were able to pace the engine, driving right alongside it at the same speed. The only way I can describe it that it’s like being at a great rock and roll show. That same sense of exhilaration and power that stays with you.

Traveling with cancer. Ok, ok, a few of those are mine.
The light was terrible but I love this shot of Leo hanging out the passenger side, figuring out when we should take off so we can pace it. Of course when he saw me taking pictures he started waving crossly at me. Heh.
The family was representing at Uncle Bill’s Pancake House: Long Ryders, Replacements and Ian Hunter.

On Saturday the four of us decamped to the hotel by late afternoon. All I can say is that Leo is a machine. He made it back to the hotel 7ish maybe. I can’t wait to see all his pics and video. The next morning we hung out and talked and then the four of us went for breakfast and headed home. Trinity and I were relegated to the back seat and this is what it looked like from there.

They chatted nonstop and sang along to the Kinks and the Beach Boys.

It was glorious. AND I slept almost twelve hours last night!


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