A little Saturday fun! April 2nd, 2016

My gosh, it's April already, and we've sprung into spring here in NorCal.  Of course that doesn't mean we can't get more snow flurries, but I think that stuff is pretty much over and done for the season.  Our area is graced with lots of blooms; colorful flowers are everywhere.  We have been way too busy since returning from our Mexican Riviera cruise. Among other things, selling an unwanted condo in Daphne AL (yay, no more albatross) and Jimmy having cataract surgery on his right eye have kept us jumping thru hoops.  (He'll have the left one done this coming Wednesday.)  So, time to go play!

I guess I could've titled this post as "A lot of Saturday fun," but you'll get the idea.  Last fall, Jimmy and I took part in a very successful Kickstarter campaign to install a turntable at the Nevada County Narrow Gauge RR Museum (NCNGRR).  For a small/ish town like Nevada City, this fabulous museum is a great draw.  Even the rail yard and the giant "workshop" are open to the public.  Anyway, as a thank you gift for our support, we had a choice of several options.  The one we picked was a cab ride in Engine #1.  That was last fall.  Well, we got busy and kinda forgot about it ... till now.

With John as engineer and Dana acting as switchman, Jimmy and I went for a cool ride in #1.  She's a switching engine built in 1927 ... isn't she cute?

Train mascot, "Lola Montez" accompanied us on our one-mile train journey to the Northern Queen Inn and back.  Lola is actually Dana's pet, but she loves to spend the day at NCNGRR. A world-famous courtesan, Lola Montez lived in Grass Valley for a couple of years, many years ago.

Several of the cabooses are open to look inside.

An orange engine with bright green interior!

Sometimes Lola ran alongside, other times she rode inside!

It's a loop the train makes from the rail yard to the Northern Queen Inn, and it's all new.  In June, Railbus #12 "Sarah Kidder" will carry passengers on this short, but sweet ride. There's lots to see, both in the yard and as she makes the loop.  I think all of the rolling stock at NCNGRR has been salvaged or donated, and restored or waiting their turn in the restoration shop.

As she descends, she rolls into a beautiful meadow, with Gold Run Creek to one side.

And then back up into the tall trees.

A switchman gets a work-out on a run like this.

I shot a video of Jimmy and John as they drove #1 into the shop where it lives when it's not on duty, but I haven't edited it yet. 

It was so much fun tooling along the tracks.  Our ride was supposed to last a half hour, but we think it lasted closer to an hour.  We spent the entire morning at the rail yard.  The museum houses a lot of train memorabilia and tidbits about the narrow gauge in Nevada City.  Above, Jimmy stands by Engine #5, an 1875 Baldwin beauty that began service hauling lumber, then passengers and freight for the NCNGRR, and finally as a movie engine at Universal Studios in Hollywood!

When we left, Jimmy asked, "What next?"  The day was much too fine to be indoors, so I suggested we a) spend a minute at the library's monthly book sale, b) eat an al fresco lunch in town, and c) finally stomp around the old cemetery we've talked about for almost four years.  And so we did all three!  Lunch was sandwiches at Matteo's on the patio, sitting beneath brand-new leaves of a lacy Japanese Maple.

Pioneer Cemetery.

This reads (as best I can make it out):  Henry Meredith, born in Hanover County, State of Virginia, in ... 1826, died in battle at Pyramid Lake, in Utah Territory ... in 1869.  A lot of young men were buried in or around 1860, probably as a result of gold mining (unlike the hapless young man above).

Not a bad place to rest your bones!

As we were driving home, Jimmy said, "We should go out to Tumbling Creek Farm and see the new lamb before it's all grown up."  All righty, then, let the fun continue!  

Clover (it's a girl!) is a little over a week old here.  Marlene suspects the other ewe (lying down) might be next to deliver a surprise.  After visiting with the animals, we walked down to the waterfall, which is still teeming with runoff.  It was a lovely hike, notwithstanding the poison oak that dogged my every step.  Love going to the farm.

Clover and Mom saying goodbye.  So ended our Saturday, chock-a-block full of fun.


  1. You did have a full day of fun, didn't you? That cab ride on Engine #1 must have been great ... and a unique experience.

  2. I can almost smell the lanolin from the wool! I miss my sheep, going out to the barn to find a new lamb was always such a thrill.

    1. Marlene was right, the other ewe delivered a few days later ... a boy.


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