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Where is Your Adventure Pass? - A Cajon Railfaning Story

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posted by alias El Roco Photography on Wednesday 25th of May 2011 04:50:55 PM

On Friday, I decided to do a little railfaning in the Cajon Pass. I arrived in the Pass at about 9:30 a.m. and after taking a look at the light on the rocks down near C.P. Cajon, I headed up Interstate 15 and got off on Highway 138. At the stop sign at the end of the off ramp, I headed to the left (opposite from the way to Hill 582) which takes you to the Mormon Rocks in the direction of Wrightwood. Before reaching the Mormon Rocks, I turned off the highway and drove down on the old Highway 138 roadbed. After contemplating which would be better, Steins Hill or C.P. Walker, I decided to head down Davis Road for a look see at Walker. As I approached the area where the old road dead ends into BNSF Mains #1 and #2, I noticed a security vehicle sitting in the middle of the access to Davis Road. (See Map) While I have seen them down in that area numerous times in the past, I have never had any contact with them so I didn’t think much of it as I left the pavement on another small dirt access road that cuts the corner to Davis Road from where the security truck was parked. As I started down the rutted dirt path that is Davis Road, I noticed the security truck drive after me at a high rate of speed. As I continued down the dirt road at a leisurely pace, the security truck pulled up right behind me and I could see the person inside talking on his two-way radio. So just to see if he was really following me, I sped up as we went through the first wash (where the bridge is in the photo above) and he kept pace with my vehicle until we got up on the other side where I pulled to the side of the road and stopped. (I thought I was having a flashback from three years ago with that dope from Chino P.D. at Hill 582.) Link While looking in my rearview mirror I could see that the person was still talking on the radio, but the security truck remained stopped on the road about twenty (20) feet behind me. Since we seemed to be at a standoff, I put the car in reverse and drove backwards towards him with the intent to pull along side and have a chat, but as I pulled towards him, he panicked and took off past me down the road. In response, I reversed direction and started following him down the road in the direction of C.P. Walker. After about 100 yards, the guy in the security truck decided he had gone far enough, and made a U-turn. However, since the road was thin at that point, and because my vehicle was in the middle of the road, it took him a few cuts back and forth to get turned around and once he did, I rolled down my window and the following conversation took place: Me: (In a sarcastic tone) Hello! Him: Do you have an Adventure Pass? Me: (Now a contemptuous tone) Are you the Forest Service? Him: You need an Adventure Pass to be here. Me: No I don’t. Him: Yes you do, and I have called in your license number and they are going to come down here and give you a ticket. Me: No they’re not, and who the heck is they? Him: The Forest Service. Me: Sure they are….. Him: Yes they will. And then he takes off down the road again back towards the highway. Adventure Pass Information: Link Suffice it to say, I was a little surprised by our encounter since I have seen these guys numerous times before on Davis Road and this was the first time any one of them had taken any interest in me, let alone tried to talk to me. After he left I sat there for a minute and thought about what I should do, and since there were no trains in the area at that time, I decided to go take advantage of the best photo opportunity of the moment – the security guard. As I approached the highway, I saw the security truck parked near the opening of an old fence at the end of the old road. I squeezed past the security truck and rolled down the road about fifty (50) feet where I made a U-turn and parked at the side of the road facing him. Then I got out and started taking pictures of him and his truck. When he saw what I was doing, he burned out and took off past me while I continued to squeeze off shots of him. (See above photo.) He drove about fifty (50) yards down the road where he stopped, threw the truck in reverse and came back to where I was standing. Link When he came back, he started screaming at me, about how dare I take his picture, and that he was going to sue me for taking pictures of him and his company truck and that he had my license number and he again reiterated that “they” were going to come and get me. While he was stopped next to me, the following conversation took place: Him: I am going to sue you! Me: Give me your name and badge number because I am making a formal complaint with the Forest Service and BNSF. Him: Why, I am just doing my job? Me: Since when is it your job to chase people around and check for Adventure Passes? Now I want your name and badge number. Him: Your not going to get that. Me: Name and badge number, NOW! (Me holding paper and a ballpoint pen.) Him: No, I have your license number. Me: I have yours, and picture of your truck and a picture of you – now, give me your name and badge number. Him: Your not getting that. And with that he drove off down the old road toward where you turn to get back up on Highway 138. Once he got there, he turned up the ramp and headed off on 138 in the direction of Summit. After he left, I looked at the pictures I had gotten of him and his truck and got back in my car and drove down Davis Road to C.P. Walker where the Red Penstemon was in bloom. Link As the morning wore on, I went about my business of hiking in the hills, photographing trains, wildflowers and animal footprints, and as I drove around, I thought it was interesting that I didn’t see any more security people, or any of the rail bulls. Around noon feeling thoroughly satisfied and in a surly mood, I drove up to Summit and parked at the gate on Summit Post Road right across from the security shack that is located up there. Picture of Summit Post Road and the security shack across the tracks. Link When I first pulled up, a security truck pulled away from the guard shack and watched me from across the tracks. I just sat there and stared at them in a taunting sort of manner for a few minutes, then a westbound freight came and after it cleared, the truck was gone. I continued to sit there for about forty five (45) minutes and ate my lunch while watching another couple of trains roll by and catching up on the goings on of Facebook and such. I also took some pictures, but the trains were on the wrong track to make the pictures come out the way I wanted them to. Eventually, I moved on towards the lower Pass and finished the day down by the rocks off Highway 138. Link All in all, it was a really wonderful day. Final score: Railfans: 1 – “The Man” 0 BNSF Cajon Subdivision at Pine Lodge - MP 60.4 (Main #1) Cajon Pass - San Bernardino County, California. (May 20, 2011)

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