Santa Barbara, CA
Aug 30, 2013
|Boy, what a day I had today. It was another train day. This morning we visited the “Roaring Camp Railroad” and rode the Redwood Forest Steam Train. Roaring Camp is located 1/2 mile from our campground next to the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park.
The train is pulled by a 1911 Shay Locomotive made by the Lima, Ohio Locomotive Works. It is the No. 7 Sonora, Class C, s/n 2465. Ephraim Shay (1839–1916), was a schoolteacher, a clerk in a Civil War hospital, a civil servant, a logger, a merchant, a railway owner, and an inventor. In the 1860s he became a logger and wished to devise a better way to move logs to the mill than on winter snow sleds. Shay invented a new drive system known as sidewinders or stemwinders for their side-mounted drive shafts. This type of locomotive could climb steeper grades than the conventional steam locomotive. It was really interesting to see this type of steam locomotive operate.
We got on board, me with my official engineers cap, and headed up the mountain. We passed through acres of old-growth redwood forests and climbed grades as steep as 8.25%. It was a fun ride on a beautiful warm, sunny afternoon.
Once on top of the mountain, we took a break to learn about the redwood forest from Conductor Kent. Back on the train, we returned to Roaring Camp and a light lunch.
Next we ventured over to the State Park Visitors Center and a walked around the “Redwood Grove Loop Trail.” We learned about the characteristics of the redwoods and saw some wonderful specimens such as the “Fremont Tree.” It is rumored that, in 1843, pioneer John C Fremont spent a night near the tree while exploring California.
We returned to our rigs for an afternoon break and then a tasty steak dinner prepared by Jim on his barbecue. After dinner I made a fire that we enjoyed into the evening.
Friday, August, 30, 2013 is a driving day. We left beautiful Santa Cruz and drove nearly 300 miles south to Santa Barbara where we are staying at the Elks Lodge. The Salinas valley is pretty with rich crops growing as far as the eye can see. Many farm hands were out working the land and harvesting some types of vegetables.
We joined Lynn & Ted Gizewski and Marty Olson at their beautiful home and got caught up with family news. Then we all seven went out to dinner at the La Playa Azul Cafe in downtown Santa Barbara. They then came to the campground for a cup of coffee and more socializing. We had a great time.