by Dennis Woytek, New Kensington, PA
My first road trip in my new Subaru Outback involved chasing a steam engine. Actually, not chasing the engine, but finding a good location for pictures and video along the old Pennsylvania Railroad main line. The engine, Nickel Plate #765, was traveling from Lewistown, Pennsylvania, to Gallitzin, Pennsylvania, pulling 17 passenger cars.
The favorite spot for photography was Horseshoe Curve. However, getting the Subaru close was not an option; the area was not accessible by car. The next best spot was at the western end of the Gallitzin tunnels, just a few miles from the curve.
As we drove the Outback – loaded with camera gear, a small cooler with beverages, and my long-suffering wife of 37 years – we found a great spot along the tracks. The wait in the cold wind forced us into the warmth of the Subaru a few times as the crowds started to gather. What began as 10 vehicles was now around 50, and the best-looking one in the crowd was the Outback.
After three hours of waiting, the sound of the steam engine inside the tunnel was heard – time to get back out and take pictures of this historic steam engine. The ground shook as it rumbled by the camera and the Outback, spewing cinders from the stack and officially removing the nice showroom look.
There would be a second opportunity to see the engine about a mile away, so thanks to a large cargo area, I slid my tripod and camera into the back, and we drove to the next location. We parked quickly, thanks to the backup camera, and took more pictures.
Backing out of the space was easy, and off we went to just enjoy the countryside and our new vehicle. The Outback climbed the hills easily, maneuvered the country roads with curve-hugging ease, and is the most comfortable vehicle I have ever owned.