Saturday - detours on the trip home
We missed the train (literally) the day before, so today it's back up to Felton to catch it before we begin our long drive home.
We arrive in plenty of time to catch the 11 a.m. train. Of course, today there's less pressure to do so because on Saturday, they run three
trains during the day.
Still, we don't want to be too
long there as we have a three-hundred mile plus trip to make.
You ride in an open air car, towed behind an ancient Shay logging locomotive as it slowly (top speed is twelve miles an hour - and you ain't hitting that this trip!) climbs its way up the low mountain and deep into the redwood forest. It passes within inches of some of the trees as chugs along.
Soon it turns up a narrow canyon and beneath the ruins of what once was a huge wooden trestle. This burned in 1976 - probably because of an arsonist - and the railroad has never been able to replace it (mostly, because the insurance company would make them hire a twenty-four-hour a day guard for it if they did!)
Once, the trestle carried the train around in a spiral until it could reach the mountain, now the train has to stop and make two switch backs to pull off the same trick. Heading forwards - and upwards - again, you soon curve around to the top of the mountain and everyone gets off for a break.
There, you get to walk amongst the trees for a while, as the conductor gives a brief lecture about the area, the trees, and some generalized redwood biology.
You climb back onto your waiting train for the trip back down the hill. In spite of being down, you certainly don't go any faster, but still, it's over much too quickly (at least, for me) and soon the train pulls back out into the sunshine as it curves down into the station.
Getting off at the end of the ride, I discover that I'm down to just a couple of pictures left on the roll, so I take a brief walk back up the line to where the train emerges from the trees and wait for the next one to come out. Not all that long later, out chugs the next train as it descends past the pond...
And I get what I think is a cool picture of it blasting steam out as it enters the yard.
Railroad fun over, we climb once again into our car and head off down the road. Soon we're back on the 1 and heading to Castroville - Artichoke Capital of the World (it says so, right on the label). Why? Well, for one thing we can cut over to the 101 easily from there, for another, we want some artichokes...
Even if they are
really just big thistles...
A bag of such later, we now burning on down the 101, heading for home. Our only stops those for gas...
...and one for more apple dumplings in Morro Bay
It's now heading towards dark as we zip down the coast. Tired, but with lots of pictures, artichokes, and dumplings, we keep moving at a fast clip towards L.A. Soon, we're passing through Ventura County, then dropping into the Valley, and finally getting off in Pasadena and parking in our driveway, the trip finally over...
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All Non-Linked Pictures Copyright 2001 - David William Johnson