Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Can you imagine waiting 20 years to ride something called the Skunk Train?  Kay and I had run out of time on the last trip, and it had always been on my list of things to do.  So I was excited as Audrey and I boarded the 1920's era rail cars on that Wednesday morning.  We were going on a four hour round trip into a forest thick with redwoods, on ancient rails twisting around some 200 odd curves and crossing dozens of antiquated bridges.  As we were boarding, the century old Baldwin locomotive proudly huffed huge clouds of white steam as if to show us it was up to the task.

The northern coast of California is redwood country.  The size of these trees run from gigantic 2,000 year old granddaddies to 500 year old burly adolescents with girths up to a dozen feet across.  In 1885, a logging railroad was built to move these massive redwood logs to the Mendocino sawmills.  Now this slow old train is traveling the same rails past the same trees and it is delightful.  We learn from our docent that in 1925, self powered gas rail cars were put into service which frankly stunk up the place.  The locals had a saying, "You can smell 'em before you can see 'em," which finally explained the name of our train.

Just one of the 200 curves.

 Audrey in her version of the Unibomber look.

Here's another one.

And here's 197...

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