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The Valley Road

The rail lines of the San Joaquin Valley always seem to be neglected by railfans. It lacks the overwhelming visual beauty of Donner, Shasta and the Feather River. It's awkward, hot, gritty and sometimes smelly. Despite these short comings, UP's Fresno Sub and BNSF's Stockton sub possesses a beauty, one vastly different and hard to recognize at times, the beauty of California's bread basket.


Outside of Silicon Valley, Hollywood and our golden coastline, agriculture is king. It remains a staple in our economy and a contributing factor to the success of this amazing state. The iron trails blazed by BNSF and UP in the San Joaquin Valley expose the raw beauty of this tough, weathered side of California. Yes, there is a beauty to the Valley Skyscrapers. Yes, there is a beauty to the miles of corn fields and orchards. Yes, there is a beauty to the endless north-south horizons and mountain vistas to the east and west. Yes, there is a beauty to the intense sunsets and soft late-afternoon skies. It's not the Sierra's or Tehachapi, but its good enough for me.


© 2012 Patrick Dirden Photography

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Taken on September 1, 2012