Riggins with little brother Charlie and little sister Sadie.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday thoughts from Iowa

Got up at 05:30am to what looked like a haze or overcast morning. I sat and watched the sun peek above the eastern horizon and decided to take a chance on a grab shot from the dinette just to see what the camera would do.


                      Sunrise at Duck Haven

After that it was  breakfast as the trains rolled by the window, early in the morning they have been  rolling by about every 15 minutes mostly trailers and containers going from Chicago to LA.


                          Breakfast is served.


          View from the Dining Car Window.

After breakfast I went to wash the cups and coffee pot and when I opened the cupboard under the sink I noticed the P trap on the sink was dripping, I tightened it hand tight and it stopped, must have vibrated loose from traveling.

This morning I am going to head west about 15 miles to Argyle IA. another rural small town to see if there are some nice photo locations.

I stopped at the filling station at the RR crossing and took a picture of downtown Argyle IA. This station also doubles as a lunch counter with a short order grill, fast food hasn’t made it to Argyle yet.Besides this business there is a church and that’s about it, not even a bar.


                      Downtown Argyle Ia.

I then got several trains coming through before I decided to try to get to the bridge crossing the Des Moines River, never made it to the bridge as the rural road going there was flooded just before the turn to the bridge and I had to turn back.


One of the last of the old Santa Fe engines bought right before the BNSF merger. Not many Red/Silver Warbonnet painted units left.

As I was making my way back on that rural road I came to a cemetery with a big crowd of people. The funeral director asked if I could stop as they had a team of horse’s bringing the deceased down the road from his home and there wasn’t any place to pass. Of course I said sure and pulled onto the grass by the cemetery entrance, I didn’t mean any disrespect to the deceased but I felt a picture of the unusual funeral conveyance and his/her honor guard all on horse’s was interesting to preserve what is certainly a disappearing part of rural life. Whoever the person was they were popular for there were about 100 people out in the middle of nowhere attending the burial.

IAFuneralteamArgyleIA08-13-10a                 The horse drawn hearse.


                Must be Family or close friend.


         6 riders followed the hearse wagon.

Again I hope I didn’t offend anyone as I saw other’s taking pictures, but being a stranger I just felt funny as I wanted to be respectable.Bnsf7890ArgyleIA.08-13-10a

              Just one more train for today.

Okay I am heading to McDonalds to check my mail & post this I will try to get something out tomorrow an for anyone who is waiting for a reply to an e-mail with the 511 URL’s attached I am waiting to get home where I can send it on my DSL.

Rigg’s I will see you & Mom Sunday sometime, be a good boy for Mom…..

Be safe out there, Sam & Donna.


  1. I enjoyed your post today, Sam. I don't think you were being disrespectful about the funeral. It was interesting to see your pictures. It showed us that there are different ways of doing things, and this particular way, with horse drawn hearse and riders following, was strangely moving to me.

    I'm glad you are able to indulge in your hobby of watching trains (and visiting small towns). Blessings to you, Sam.

  2. So nice to see a piece of quaint country life in super-tech, sophisticated USA.

    We get such a false impression through news media and films. Real life is much more interesting.

  3. The new camera is really doing a great job and they fellow snapping the pictures is doing great too. :-)
    I think that was most interesting to see a funeral where the hearse was being transported by wagon. I don't think that is disrespectful at all. It is actually very touching. I didn't realize folks still did that today. Live and learn.

    Take care and enjoy your train time!!
    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  4. Sam, this blog was great. I enjoyed following along with your day. The pic of the hearse wagon was really good. Iowa is a great state filled will all sorts of wonderful and interesting people. Argyle looks particularly interesting and I think we'll add that to our list of possibilities in making a visit.

  5. Certainly you were not disrespectful...When we lived at the cemetery, many took photos of the funeral procession....Different ways of living ...and different ways of burying the dead...and so it goes..
    What was that train called?? Red/Silver Warbonnet?? I must watch for one...There has to be ONE in the mix here!

  6. That's the first horse drawn hearse I've ever seen, Sam! Great photo and I don't think it was disrespectful at all. You must be missing Riggs by about now too - I know I'd be missing my pups! A town with a church but no bar? Just doesn't seem right! Who does all the sinning in that town?

  7. A comment and a question tonight, Sam. I think you would have had one heck of a sunrise shot had you stepped outside for a moment! :)

    Question: Is that a working Juke Box I see on your table??? Inquiring minds want to know! :)

  8. Sam,

    You're having too much fun!!! Do you let Donna read your blog?