10/12/2008

Fall Fun

What could make the king stand so very quietly. So very patiently? So very....still??



The same thing that can make any boy his age perform in the same manner! A TRAIN! Especially a train that the four year old knows he will be boarding soon! And knowing that you will be coming back with a pumpkin makes it that much better! Oh to be young, and to be so full of anticipation! (Okay, I admit - I was pretty excited too!)



The King and his Mom headed out today to go over to Coldwater Michigan where the Little River Railroad Steam Train was departing for a 12 mile round trip pumpkin train ride over to Quincy Michigan and Back. It was about a 1.5 hour round trip - and required that the King miss his nap, but was well worth it from his (and my) perspective. The fall colors were "hit or miss", but when they were hit - they were GORGEOUS. (We have had a dry spell creating some weird coloration pockets!). Come join us on our journey! First up - the most important part of a train ride - where the "Ductor Sits and blows the Whistle" Here is a view of the Engine Car as it prepares for our journey!


I think the family has a knack for pulling down some pretty good pictures of Trains! The Cadet took one back on our Ohio River Trip (of course - his was of a painting that looked real), and I managed to capture this one as the engine was building up operating steam! The king thought the whole steam release thing off Engine 110 was hilarious.

For the train buffs in the family Engine 110 above just celebrated his (her?) 97th birthday and has been in operation all but 15 years of his life. He is the smallest standard gauge Pacific type locomotive ever built (Pacific meaning there are four small guide wheels under the front, six big drive wheels and two wheels under the cab supporting the firebox and cab). It is a 4-6-2 Locomotive and is a one of a kind loco built for use in logging camps in Tennesee. It weighs 58 tons (making it small for a steam loco) and produces about 300 horsepower with an attractive effort of 13.5 tons per drive axle. By the Little River Railroad Personnel estimates, during our 12 mile round trip, we burned about a ton of coal and used 2K gallons of water. (Special thanks to the pamphlet they gave us - or else I would have just said "Engine 110 above belched coal smoke, had a big whistle, and looked pretty big to me - see - you get tech specs when I read!)
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