Needles – Kingman

Day 3: from Needles (CA) to Kingman (AZ)

Room with a view

Without knowing it, we chose a greatly located motel the night before. At the Best Western Colorado River Inn you wake up with the sound of train horns, and with a view on the railroad from the balcony. Half awake you can make your first photo of the day. The delicious breakfast at the Juicy River Cafe nextdoor gave us enough energy to last through the day.

BNSF 4344, Needles (CA) 27-5-2014
The balcony of the Best western Colorado River Inn allowed 2 photographers, just woken up, to make their first photo of the day. BNSF 4344, Needles (CA), 27.5.2014

Desert view

The Needles Subdivision north of Needles was unknwon terrain to us. We had driven through the region twice, but never really explored it. Time to bring some change. Landscape-wise, it is a desert. The railroad line is surrounded by hills, allowing for good views. Here we see the Sacramento Mountains in the background, and a container train heading west in nothing but dry desert. The first engine is wearing the BNSF heritage III scheme, the second one the older heritage II scheme.

BNSF 7004, Needles (CA) 27-5-2014
BNSF 7004 with a westbound container train. Needles (CA), 27.5.2014

Lots of sand

The Dead Mountains provide a view over the Sacramanto Wash, and the wooden trestle over it. The river bed is completely dried up at this time of the year.
The roads are treacherous here. That is, if you make a U-turn and get off the asphalt in the sand. We got stuck indeed. Fortunately, a friendly man, who happened to have a chain in his car, pulled us out. I guess it was not the first time he helped someone this way 🙂

BNSF 7515, Needles (CA) 27-5-2014
BNSF 7515 and a sister help a westbond train through the desert. Needles (CA), 27.5.2014

Black Mesa

Between Needles and Kingman, both Interstate 40 and the BNSF transcontinental line run south and east of the Black Mountains. This mountain range stretches from Lake Mead in the North until the point that is shown here, at a place called Haviland, where a westbound container train runs along the southern part of the range. This zone is also called the Black Mesa.
In the background, on the other side of the Dutch Flat, the Hualapi Mountains can be seen.
We learnt from our earlier experience with the sand and left the car on a safe spot instead of getting closer to this spot. Once stuck here, there are no more people to pull you out…

This was the last photo of the day. When trying to make more photos near Kingman, we noticed a police vehicle near our parked car. We left our viewpoint early to make sure we weren’t in trouble. Turns out we parked in front of a prison on a non-marked spot, which is not allowed. No further consequences, fortunately, but we decided to call it a day. Lesson learnt.

BNSF 6916, Yucca (AZ) 27-5-2014
BNSF 6919 with westbound containers, framed by one of many cactusses. Haviland (AZ), 27.5.2014

Go to the next day

Go to the previous day