Friday, May 4, 2012

The Skunk Train, Ft. Bragg, CA.

We have moved 140 miles north to Ukiah, and are at the Redwoods Empire Fairgrounds.  Today we drove west to the coastal town of Ft. Bragg, home of the Skunk Train. Built as a logging railroad, the Skunk line began in 1885 as a vehicle for moving the giant redwood logs to Mendocino County coast sawmills from the rugged back country. Steam passenger service was started in 1904, extended to the town of Willits in 1911, and discontinued in 1925 when the self-powered, yellow "Skunk" rail cars were inaugurated. The trains got their nickname for their original gas engines, which prompted neighbors to say, "You can smell 'em before you can see 'em."  The trip was 1 hour and 40 minutes to Northspur, a 40 minute break, and then 1 hour and 40 minutes back to Ft. Bragg.  While at Northspur, the engine was moved to the opposite end of the train for our trip back.  We also had time to shop for souvenirs, have a snack, or take a walk to some big redwoods.  We spent most of our time in the passenger cars, but ventured out to the open car a few times.  It was a brisk day, around 50 degrees, but it felt colder, due to the wind chill, when the train was moving.

Our campsite at Redwood Empire Fairgrounds
The Skunk Train Logo
Our Engine today, sometimes they us the 1885 steam engine
Away we go!
                                                                  Click to hear Debbie  
Trees so tall that I can't get them in one frame
Taking a walk while at Northspur

                                                          Click to hear about our trip
Relaxing on the way back to Ft. Bragg

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