Motel Ludlow yet again! 

Located between Needles and Barstow on the old Santa Fe Needles Sub, Ludlow is the point where the motorist who passed Needles or Barstow without a stop is forced to call a halt to their desert driving adventure.  It is a cultural smorgasbord of truckers, bikers, boat owners, RV drivers, do it yourself movers and just plain folks.  The two gas stations, Dairy Queen/trinket store, cafe and motel are alive 24/7.

In 2004, 2005 and 2006, Don Winslow, a few friends and I got together to swap lies, insult each other and humanity in general, and shoot a few pictures.


 Don Winslow Photo

Lots of other Needles Sub Photos

21 April 2005

Dawn near Yucca, AZ at the top of Sacramento wash.  Getting up before the sun and climbing over rocks and cactus to get to the perfect dawn shot is what we do.  In this case, it took about 4 west bounds and 2 hours to finally get an eastbound.  Then, it was a UP!

21 April 2005

I have long wanted to get up on the rise just west of Cadiz in the late afternoon.  I had a vision of the perfect "golden hour" which would feature a westbound climbing out of Cadiz with the mountains in the background.  As you can see, the best we got was an eastbound.  In the meantime, we did capture the westbound Cadiz local with a stack train hot in pursuit.

  22 April 2005  Afternoon

The morning had dawned with clouds.  During the day, things broke up a bit.


22 April 2005  Afternoon

Late in the day, a new front was rolling in.  This provided opportunity and challenge.  We started at the top of Ash Hill and worked west, hoping for some storm or even glint shots.  We were not disappointed.

23 April 2005, Morning

Clear!  We head up to west ash hill again to see how things look from different perspectives.



22 April 2004

On the day before Don Winslow, mounted in his Oil Fired Blue Bronco, arrived, I spent the afternoon around Ludlow.  On the left are a couple of shots of the S curve west of "town".  On the right, some shots of Warbonnet 763 which was running slowly on the blocks of a host of trains trying to get into the yard at Barstow.

23 April 2004, West of Ludlow

The Los Angeles, Victorville and Las Vegas contingents arrived well after dawn so the 'magic hour" right after sunrise was spent in the Cafe Ludlow.  After breakfast, we headed out to the hills west of Ludlow for a few shots.  After a couple of stacks and manifests, the Cadiz Local appeared.  After shooting it, we headed off to catch it again at Siberia.

23 April 2004, Cadiz and Goffs

I always end up at Cadiz in the middle of the day when taking pictures in the desert is best left to folks shooting roster shots.  My guess is that it would have some really great shots of the mountains shown in the left photo very late in the afternoon.  On the right, a Santa Fe survivor, minus Santa Fe on the nose leads a "drag" up from Needles to Goffs.  This train stalled shortly after we took this shot.  It was still at Goffs when it got dark.

23 April 2004, Ibis

Catching UP on the Needles sub is always fun.  The area around Ibis is where I keep running into detours.  On the top left is a UP lead we caught on this trip.  The other three shots are from other trips in other years.  All are from the area between Needles and Goffs.

Late Afternoon  23 April 2004, Ibis

Last December, Brett Wirick and I waited at this location until the last ray of sun had disappeared.  The rail gods did not smile on our enterprise and we got skunked.  This trip, things were better.  Ibis is a great location where the westbound line and the eastbound line separate as they climb up toward Arrowhead Junction and Goffs.  The shots here were all taken from essentially the same location.  If you get a chance, visit this place.

Golden Hour 23 April 2004, East of Goffs

When the sun is setting, the shooting is good.  I followed BNSF 4577 out of Ibis and on toward Goffs hoping to get some of those 'last light" shots.  The great part of shooting digital is that you can just keep firing and hope that it works out.  For these 4 pictures, it did.

24 April 2004, West of Ludlow

When shooting with older fellows like Don Winslow, you can't get started too early, so we missed dawn on the 24th.  After breakfast, we headed west toward Barstow.  Dirt roads follow the BNSF alignment and are easy to follow as long as your vehicle has high clearance.  I usually don't shoot much in mid-day, but these shots are not too awful.  Note the distortions caused by the heat.

That's all folks.  End of day on the West slope of Ash Hill