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Thread: Pantano Station - Arizona

  1. #1
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    Default Pantano Station - Arizona

    Thought I'd chime in and introduce myself... Also wanted to share a unique way of looking at ghost towns... I'm a part-time photographer with a specialized kind of platform to take my photos from - an electric model aircraft - UAV...

    My website gives alot of details on what I do - click on the RC and AP Hobby link to get past the "sales pitch" stuff if you are interested... http://WattNoise.com There are quite a few "higher perspective" pics in the galleries as well... I'd like to add a Ghost Town Gallery as well soon - thought I'd see if y'all thought it would be a worthy thing to do...

    I did an archeological site of some Indian ruins in Northern AZ last summer and have been researching other historical sites to photograph... After finding this website, I was "challenged" by some of the site descriptions stating "nothing remains"... From experience, I knew that many times what cannot be readily seen on the ground can be seen from a few hundred feet up!...

    So - my first ghost town is Pantano Station just east of Tucson, AZ... An old locomotive water station at the high point between Benson and Tucson... This is in the Cienega Creek Preserve off of Marshall Gulch Rd.... Some accounts say that the rail station was built on the site of an old Butterfield stagecoach station... But, some locals have told me that the stagecoach station was actually a couple miles further west in the canyon... I haven't been there as yet, but I have been told that some remains can be seen there as well... The preserve and ghost town are accessed by permit obtained through the Pima County Parks and Recreation Dept. and does border on inaccessible private land...

    The intact water tower is still there... Foundations, the old spur track, main rail bed, and wagon path are visible from the air... A few old items are still around... The pipe from the water tower leading to the building foundations is visible... Some of the remains of walls, roof tiles, and steps... A chicken coop... A well/trough was spotted from the aerial pics... Found a very old boot... Left everything in place of course... Don't need some ghost coming after me looking for his shoes!...

    Hope you enjoy... I've got others on my list of "nothing remains" if you think it's worth doing... Suggestions of places to go would be very welcome as well... Want to stay around S. AZ thru the spring and then will be in the Pinetop area off and on through the summer also...

    Kevin
    Watt Noise Aerial Photography

    Did You Hear That?
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    Last edited by Watt Noise; 03-20-2005 at 08:01 AM.

  2. #2
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    This is a cropped photo showing more detail of the foundations and the faint wagon track that is in front of it...
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    Trains don't stop here anymore - at least he waived as he went by...
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    This is about 4 miles west of Pantano Station at the edge of the Cienega Creek Preserve... The train track that goes by the station is the one in the creek bed itself and is the East bound track... The upper trestle with the train on it is West bound to Tucson... The Cienega road bridge was built in 1920-1921... Hard to see in this compressed photo but is an arch bridge...

    That's it - that's all for now...

    Kevin
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  5. #5
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    old judge is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Your photos and concept are fascinating. I certainly encourage you to keep on keepin' on. I've experienced the situation of being able to see much more from the sky than is imagined on the ground. The wagon tracks in one of your pics is a classic example. Many old tracks in Oklahoma are highly visible in good aerial photography, but non-existent from ground level. I have often located things on the ground by using terraserver, or other local sources of aerial shots, before going into a location. Again, great site, photos and concept. OJ

  6. #6
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    Cool This is really neat

    What a great idea.

    Couple questions:

    Do you see what your camera is focused on or are you just randomly shooting photos?

    How well do these fly at 10,000 feet? Actually a better question would be, Are there any altitude restictions?
    Visit Colorado Ghost Towns at http://www.rockymountainprofiles.com

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by old judge
    Your photos and concept are fascinating. I certainly encourage you to keep on keepin' on. I've experienced the situation of being able to see much more from the sky than is imagined on the ground. The wagon tracks in one of your pics is a classic example. Many old tracks in Oklahoma are highly visible in good aerial photography, but non-existent from ground level. I have often located things on the ground by using terraserver, or other local sources of aerial shots, before going into a location. Again, great site, photos and concept. OJ
    I appreciate the words of encouragement... Sometimes I can get so wrapped up in the process of a new project that it's hard for me to be objective with the results!...

    This is really a fun thing to do... I spent 3 separate days at this one just exploring around and took about 200 photos of the area... I don't think I've spent more than a couple hours at any place I've photographed in the past 6 months... My wife is going to probably have to send out search teams when I get to ghost towns that have more to them!...

    Kevin

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikejts
    What a great idea.

    Couple questions:

    Do you see what your camera is focused on or are you just randomly shooting photos?

    How well do these fly at 10,000 feet? Actually a better question would be, Are there any altitude restictions?
    I do have the capability to downlink the image to "frame" shots on a monitor or laptop, but the 2 aircraft I used for these shots did not have that set up... I've been doing it for awhile now and can pretty well tell which direction and what the camera is looking at... I get about a 30-50% yield on useable pics... Digital's cheap... Another reason for not using the downlink set-up was the area I was in... That stuff is expensive!... If I had a mishap with a cactus, I could be replacing some stuff that I don't really want to afford to replace... My Canon would be bad enough...

    There are altitude restrictions to how far above the ground I can fly from the FAA - 400'... But, there are techniques to get shots that look like you're alot higher such as in the last pic I posted above... That one was easy - I launched from the top of a hill that was about 500' above the bridge levels approximately a mile away... Tricky...

    I personally have flown from a ground level of 9,000' and didn't have any problems... I have a compadre in Colorado that has flown the same type of airplane from a starting point of 14,000'... It's the "how far above the ground" that we have to be cautious of... If I can't get the shot that a client wants from my models, I have them spring for a full-size airplane for me to use... It's usually alot less expensive than most think...

    Kevin
    Last edited by Watt Noise; 03-20-2005 at 11:03 AM.

  9. #9
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    Talking Pantano Station-Az.

    Great stuff!.....I wish I had the time and resources to do what you're doing. I think this will go over well, and I'll be watching to see what comes of it.............

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatiron
    Great stuff!.....I wish I had the time and resources to do what you're doing. I think this will go over well, and I'll be watching to see what comes of it.............
    Hopefully, I won't disappoint... Luckily, I get a few calls to take pics to help offset the costs... I might be stretching into too many "hobbies" though - airplanes, cameras, and now ghost towns...... NAH!...

    Kevin

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