OK, so I'm taking the Empire Builder between Milwaukee and Seattle and at Wolf Point we had to get off the train and take busses a whole bunch of hours west to some other stop. We don't know it yet, but the other train going in the other direction had to do the same thing in reverse. A large bunch of stops had been cancelled until further notice because of a derailment.
Let me tell you about this derailment!
I found out what it was all about my next time travelling east. The next time going west I got to see it with my own two eyes.
13 cars full of grain (grain!) had fallen down a steep hill, almost a cliff, but shallow enough to be able to look down from the train once they repaired all the tracks.
Down at the bottom were high dozens or low hundreds of very drunk grizzlies getting drunker by the minute. Yes, the bottom of the piles of grain had been turning to sour mash from about the second day on.
None of the firefighters or construction crew wanted to get out of their trucks so they had to invent a vacuum system of some sort. 24/7 for a couple weeks they worked this trying to get the grain all trucked away before too many grizzlies got so drunk that they might begin to start tipping over trailer parks and things!
So they rigged up these big flexipipes hanging down from helicopters. The tube would suck the grain up by the pounds into a nearby truck that would fill up and drive away, new trucks kept rotating. Yes, 24/7 til it was gone. What a site to see.
That's my story of being about 100 yards away from dozens of grizzly bear watching them try and fight off these ginormous tubes that keep stealing THEIR liquor.
If I had to guess I think it was about February, 2005
Woah, I went looking for documentation and I notice this seems to happen quite a bit more often than I expected:
What are you looking in here for?