Monday, May 1, 2017

So Many Trains ... Who Knew??

The Sacramento Valley's population exploded once the trains were running the tracks.  Adventurous people and gold miners came in droves to the West Coast.  More and more trains came into being to handle the people and products being shipped all around the country.  In fact, there were so many trains changing names I won't go into the details.  One of those trains is now the Sacramento River Train running North towards Woodland that still runs today.

I arrived early as usual to get some pictures before the crowds showed up.  This was touted to be the Wild West Train Ride, so I was expecting to see a few horses in the bushes.
I never did see the horses, but I did see the Conductor walking up to the cab as I snapped away.  I struck up a conversation because that's how I roll.  Actually, I'm very shy .... it was he who asked if I wanted some pictures from the cab.  Are you kidding?  OF COURSE!!!  
Up I crawled to the tiny cab area where I took a few pictures while we talked.  The conductor started out as the computer guy who one day decided to volunteer in the maintenance department.  He liked it so much, he's graduated on up to every job available.
About that time, the Engineer stepped into the cab, rather startled to see me there.  I told him all about our club, so he proceeded to tell me all about the engine.  Built in the 50's, it's like an old Chevy Truck he said ... easy to work on.  Sit down, have a seat and blow the horn.  I was in 7th Heaven.
That is until he opened a door in front and said LOOK ... we even have our own bathroom.  TMI was my first thought, but sure enough, there it was.  Who knew???
We all checked in to our own fabulous dining car before wandering about the train as it rumbled down the tracks heading North.  Box lunches will be served later.
Alongside the way were tiny towns that weren't really towns.  There were maybe one or two houses since most of this area is ag land, growing walnut and almond tees.  
Totally reminiscent of my days riding the train to Bakersfield as a kid, it swayed back and forth as I walked like a drunk from car to car.  Finally I found the open side door where I spent most of the trip looking for wildlife.
There was lots of evidence of the recent California rains with the river overflow heading downstream.  The train lumbered across the bridge slowly while the river thrashed below.
This is where all that water was coming from.  I'm not sure what this river is ... possibly the Feather??
The Sacramento River was still at almost flood stage, rising every day now with the snowpack melting.  Many of the homes alongside the river's edge got wet feet.
Further up there was so much water, it completely covered this roadway that was drivable just two days earlier.  
This is  LOT of water flooding everything as far as you can see.  That long bridge in the distance is the I-5 freeway.  Normally this is ag land growing rice.
Finally ... time for lunch.  When I heard it was being served, I headed back to my table to find my lunch ticket gone and no lunch.  Everyone pointed to the front of the train, so that's where I headed.  All I found was one sick girl from the rocking and rolling.  I walked all the way to the back before finding the Food Guy, who walked me all the way to the front again for my chicken salad.  This is Panera food, so I KNOW it's going to be good.

As I sat down, the rest of our group told me not to look too hard for the chicken because there was none.  Apparently the early morning risers at Panera who fixed our box lunches, can't read worth a darn.  Not only was there no chicken in the salad, there was no bacon on the turkey-bacon sandwiches, with one even being ham and cheese.  Seriously??  Apparently when it was reported, the manager wasn't the least bit concerned.   I think we're owed a big refund ... this plain jane salad certainly wasn't worth what we paid!!
About that time there was a robbery on the train.  I never did see the horses, or hear any for that matter.  Apparently these modern day robbers came in their vehicles.  Lilly Langtry cried as the bad guy stole the bag of gold with the Sheriff hot on his tail.  I heard the commotion, but was too busy taking pictures of this hawk across the river.
The bad guy shown here is dying after loosing his gun to the Sheriff.  When he exited the train running right by me as I walked to my car, he was shot not twice, but THREE times.  He performed a great dying scene, moaning and groaning next to my open window, as he got up for the fourth time.  With the show over, he used my car windows as a mirror to make sure his hat was on straight before jumping in HIS car.  Now THAT was a wild west show!!
Next up, yet another train ride that I passed on.  It was the Sacramento Southern train that runs from the Railroad Museum down the tracks and back, about a 45 minute ride.  At least this time I didn't get lost on the way home and I didn't have a puppy mess to clean.  SCORE!!

Believe it or not, there was ANOTHER train ride scheduled for yesterday, the Placerville and Sacramento Valley Railroad leaving out of Folsom California, just up the road.  Unfortunately they had track that was washed out from all the rain and the trip was canceled.  I spent the morning in Folsom anyway, getting a slice of rocky road fudge and a few pictures for you for tomorrow.  


  1. When I was young, Folsom consisted of the old town, and the prison. Had you taken the southern train, you would have passed within a mile of where I was raised. I think the northern route is probably prettier.

    1. Well for heavens sake. It IS a beautiful area and had more trains and train tracks than I could count!!