Tuesday, August 19, 2008
As Adrien and I made our way through the tunnel towards Old Sacramento...something happened along the way! It was almost as if we had stepped back in time. All of sudden we were walking planked walkways. And I could almost picture how people were probably dressed back then.
Once I started my walk back through time...I couldn't help but take a picture of a favorite watering hole. The bar is called 'Fanny Ann's'. Once inside everything is Topsy Turvy and upside down and never right side up! Go there and beware of the bathrooms...it is a hoot! Beer is ice cold and food is A-OK! But the characters who make up that watering hole...priceless!
Here is carriage for the tourists...I personally have only done this once and it was pretty lame. And I felt really badly for those hot, tired horses. But we have had Peta and animal control out there to check things out. And they always walk away with not closing down this Horse and Buggy ride.
Along our path to our final destination (which Adrien still only knew), I saw this fantastic sculpture. I never really have taken the time to stop and admire it. It is really a beautiful piece. It is capturing the Pony Express. Old Sacramento was the last stop for the Pony Express on its long journey. Who knew? Not I...so that was a interesting piece of information learned from our 87 year young Icon friend!
Even our regional transit get into the act in Old Sacramento, looking like an old time trolley from 'them olden days'!
And then it hit me...there I was standing right smack in history! Looking at these hundred year old buildings realizing that at one time there were cowboys and saloon gals and proper ladies and shop keepers, ferry boat captains walking, working these streets way back when. If I stood very still I could almost hear what it must have sounded like back then. The hustle and bustle. Hearing the brass pieces clinking on the horse and buggies and the blow of the whistle from something out in the distance...what was that I wondered. And we pushed on. Getting closer and closer to our final destination.
We finally made it to begin our Mystery Trip! We were here...
I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. I have never been on a steam powered locomotive. And this was a working, traveling museum. I was giddy. We stepped up to purchase our tickets. And history began to unfurl right in front of me. (Adrien buying her ticket)
There were the hustle and bustle on wooden platforms and the whoosh of the engine letting off pressure. And that glorious sound of the whistle being blown.
We set out to go board the train. And when we rounded the corner...there it was in all it's glorious wonder!
The train was just pulling in the station when we were queuing up. And then we started to see all these characters popping out of nowhere....head conductor and platform conductors. These men and women who played these characters are all volunteers for this working museum. At one time in their lives they worked for the railroad. Probably in the capacticy of what they are doing now...enginer,conductor,etc.
We boarded. And found our seats. Adrien and I began to comment on what small spaces there were. And wonder how a proper lady, whose attaire would consist of many, many layers of petticoats and lace,a corset and a bustle. How they with stood a ride of this nature.
With a huge lunge forward, we were off. You could hear the roar of the engine as it geared up with pressure to make the train move. You could hear the arms of the wheels beginning to turn. And you certainly knew you were on the way when the engineer begin to blow the whistle!
I stuck my camera outside the train window as the world was passing by to take some shots of what it must of felt like way back when.
Here the train has uncoupled with main part of train and is doing a maneuver called a 'Round about'.
This is where the train must blow out the sediment that settles on the bottom of the steam tanks. It's like 'blowing your top'. That steam can reach very hot temperatures and that is why they stop under the freeway to blow out the steam. Quite a sight and sound.
While we were waiting for train to recouple with us to take us back to the station. Adrien and I met this wonderful 'young in heart' gentleman. Let me introduce you to my 87 years young friend. This is Mickey! Mickey is an icon on this train. He had been an Engineer for almost 50 something years when he finally retired. Once retired, and once they refurbished this moving museum, he has been coming down to the station and riding in the same seat, same train car since this museum opened. Mickey knows everything there is to know about this Steam Locomotive. He knows every ones names and feels his duty is to wave at EVERYONE. And Mickey did just that. When I needed to take some photos of the other side of the train, he so graciously offered his space. At one point I sat with him and as he told me about the Crocker Art Museum and the stone marker depicting the very last run and ending point for the Pony Express. It was a wonderful day and made even better by meeting my darling new friend...Mickey the Icon of the Sacramento Railroad. So, if you are coming through and want to experience this wonderful trip. Make sure you purchase your ticket and get on the last train car and look for Mickey and tell him that Robyn sent ya!
Well folks this the end of this journey and Mystery Trip. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as me putting it together for you! If you are traveling through or have a undying love for trains as I do. One must really experience this at least once.
Stay tuned I have yet to put up our lunch experience...and what an experience it was. I will tell you all about how we caught 'crabs'! And that is so not a typo. LOL!
With much love,
Posted by Robyn Haas at 3:43 PM