Sunday, October 2, 2011

Virginia and Truckee Railroad - Outhouse Races(?)

On Friday we rode a small "kids" train in Mills Park and toured the State-owned Railroad Museum.  There were 23 grown kids on that train having a ball.  There are so many great stories, including Leland Stanford's railroad car which carried the golden spike to Promontory Utah when the East met the West in railroad world.  Not only do they have THAT car here, they also have one of the cars that was attached to it for the not-so-rich passengers.  Unfortunately the State has cut budgets tremendously leaving them severely short of funds.

Another story from the barn was this car.  Apparently when we saved the French in World War Two, they sent a railroad car full of gifts to each State in the United States (back when they liked us).  First I ever heard of this ... but here is the car sent to Nevada.  They called it the Gratitude Train ... or a 40-8 train.  Each car was capable of carrying 40 men or 8 horses.  So lets find out what happened to California's car!!!
Here are my friends Patty and Dan (Dan trying to throw Patty from the train!!) that I'm visiting and traveling with.  
Saturday we headed out to ride the Virginia Truckee Railroad steam train (privately owned) from Carson City to Virginia City.  Did I mention I LOVE steam trains????  It's crazy I know, but there is nothing better than sitting back hearing that engine work up the hill.
The scenery was beautiful too .. we saw four herds of Mustangs grazing on the hillside.
We arrived just in time to be in the middle of the Outhouse Races Parade down main street.  Yes, you read it right.  Anyone can enter ... just bring your outhouse, one inside rider and two strong men to race it UPHILL!!  Here's the Flapper Crapper ... nuff said!!
After catching the parade, we headed to the Red Dog Saloon for a great BBQ lunch, then too soon back to Carson City.  I made friends on the way up with Tim, the brakeman(?) ... who let me stand on the platform the entire trip for pictures.  He told me stories and answered lots of questions about the history of the railroad and these cars in particular.  Here's old Number 18 ... a hundred years old.
As I was taking the above image, Tim walked up with a big smile and said "I bet I know what you'd like!" ... (well he got one of the two) and he proceeded to take my camera and help me up to the cab.  I took the engineers seat and he took my picture!!!

 I'm so excited at this point I can't stand it ... and he says ... "jump in that other seat and pull hard on that rope!"  Okay, I know this is the train whistle and I just can't stand myself ... I jump up on the seat and give it a hefty tug!!!   OMG Tim totally made my day ... a day I will never forget!!  Only thing better was if I could have taken Tim home with me!!

1 comment:

  1. It's a great train ride--I'm preparing a blog post on riding the V&T (in the cab of the engine) from Virginia City to Carson and back.