Monday, May 15, 2006
This weekend I was honored to be invited to ride the Grizzly Flats Railroad, the famed hobby train of Ward Kimball . . . Note the depot in the above photo -- it was from the Disney movie So Dear To My Heart and built out from what was essentially a movie facade. Grizzly Flats isn't quite the place it once was, with the big steam engine and several train cars having been donated to a train museum in Paris, California, but what's still there is amazing. Ward must have been one hell of a guy if this was his idea of a hobby! Here are John Kimball and Nathan Lord at the controls of 'Chloe,' upholding the legacy of Kimball trainmen. Here's a view of the "First Class" car (it's covered, you see -- all the comforts of home). The very antique car at the end of the driveway belongs to Brian McEntee, who knows how to arrive in style for such an event. The appropriately named fire house: A view from out of the train barn (I'm sure there's a proper name for the structure, but what the hell do I know): I think they were taking on more water here. It's a wood-burning engine, and just in front of the train is the woodpile. We were warned when we helped load some wood to watch for black widows. I promptly found the two fattest black widows I've ever seen. I was enjoying myself too much to go around getting names, so I missed the names of these gentlemen. But their music was excellent, and perfect for an afternoon spent playing on a full-sized train. The young man in the red shirt was making flavored snow-cones, perfect on what seemed to be the hottest day of the spring. Steaming through the orange grove. I'm sitting in the "Second Class" car (it has no roof, like first class) looking at Nathan and family and friends in the "Third Class" car. It's third class because one of the car's wheels is 'square,' making for a lumpy ride (the brake, controlled by that wheel in the middle of the picture, was left on while it was running a few years ago). A good time was had by all (the guy on the far right only appears to be motion sick -- I'm pretty sure he was watching the track between the cars. Thanks again for the invite, Nathan, I really enjoyed it.
Posted by Kevin Koch at 6:56 PM