Saturday, November 23, 2013

More Track Panels from Westover.

I got a phone call from Paul Westover Wednesday afternoon that he had just dropped off 25 new track panels at the tracks and he was off to some distant location to go to work. I had planned to make a trip out there Saturday so now it was cast in stone that I head out there. A call to Dad and he agreed to an early morning trip out to put them out of the way and in a safe place. The clouds in the sky as the night sky was turning guaranteed a nice sunrise. We were not disappointed in the coming light show. The heater in Dad's truck gave no hint to the outside temperature at all. A dusting of snow over Beaumont and Banning gave hints that it was cold outside. We made the turnoff to 62 just as the Big Orange Ball cleared the distant Chocolate Mountains to the East of us . Clouds masked the hills south of the Morongo Basin but it was dry on the highway, rain had fallen earlier the night before because the intersections in Yucca Valley were their post rain lakes.
   Breakfast at the Country Corner was quick and Hot. As we headed up the hill we got into the clouds and drizzle started as well. We made quick time of getting a flat car out for moving the panels and in no time we were back in the truck and headed back to warmer climes. All looked well from a quick tour of the joint and knowing full well that we would be back soon for Thanksgiving Weekend a walk around in the cold rain did not sound at all appealing. We now have an ample supply of track for our push up the hill with promises of more on the way. Thanks Paul for the supply and Dad for making the trek with me. See you all soon and have a blessed Thanksgiving. Avoid Black Thursday and spend your time out here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Rudy Run 2013, November 7-11, 2013

Well, if you stayed home this weekend I hope you had fun. This past weekend out at Joshua tree was wonderful; the weather, the people and the good times. Dad said it was a little cool Wednesday night but Thursday it warmed right up. I got into town Thursday evening and it was delightful with ambiance wood in the fireplace. The Burns' showed up Thursday early and Gary and Margaret Stites, had their stuff unloaded as well by then. Greg and Becky rolled in not too far behind me and Matt finished off the night arrivals with his appearance from Chula Vista. I unloaded the American and brought parts out for the Alco so I had plenty to do Friday. 41 steamed up and ran most of the day Friday. The caboose came home for a bit to make room for a refrigerator car project. The paint job looks nice and it finally has lettering too. Bill Shepherd has been working on the turntable pit area; lots of rock and fill to bring it up to grade. Steve Nelson trucked out his C-21 project for the world to see and 41 pushed it around the better part of the weekend. The Edward's Freight Motor ran a bit over the weekend, John Griffin has it running like a top. He has ran it quite a bit over the summer helping out with the upkeep of the railroad during the off season. The Friday night Carne Burn was a hit with plenty of folks around the patio. Saturday saw the Maywald RGS 20 make it out. Ray and Becky Bjerrum brought out their two(2) speeders for a spin on the hill. There was plenty of action on both the 7 1/2" and up on the 15" as well. Two Shays and a critter wore the rust off of the railheads up on the big stuff. The day was crystal clear and warm with the evening delightful again. Saturday night Steak night was well attended and lasted quite some time I hear. Sunday always starts off slow as we have a meeting to take up the mid morning time slot, but after it got out it was back to fun. 41 ran during the meeting and whistled gleefully as it passed the station. I got another crack at the American and Maywald's fired up the 20. As none of us were leaving till Monday the action stayed on till darkness kicked in. Plenty of buckets made it up to the turntable area for fill and kept the willing busy loading, hauling or dumping all three days. Sunday a concentrated effort was put forth and the old unloading pad was swept clean of fill material; just in time for bbq on Sunday night. The guests around the digs all weekend was plentiful, with the parking lot busy both Saturday and Sunday. I have a few pictures of the goings on as well as pictures from John Griffin and Mike Massee on the below link. Hope you enjoyed it, come back and see us again real soon.

For any questions or information feel free to drop the Project supervisor a email at, see you for Thanksgiving Weekend, November 28-31.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Opening Weekend at Joshua Tree

The past weekend was a kick back affair at Joshua Tree. The Summer was kind to the track and John Griffin's attention to things over the summer kept the opening weekend light on tasks at hand. After getting John checked out on the Edwards Freight Motor earlier in the year and getting the box and "Bass Pro Shops" fishing seat off of the deck to make the thing functional as a work vehicle and able to move a bucket or two of dirt around the place, he took care of 99% of the roadbed maintenance necessary to get this place rolling. The only major, and I'll say major as we did a lot of little things all weekend, was get the wye switch back up to operational status. It was a family weekend for the most part. Allan and Lynn Ratliff with the GE and the ever present string of Westside Flats. Greg and Becky, and her sister Colette. Matt Z made it up from the Baja region to spend the weekend but not all the pieces to make his PE run made the trip. I got to try out the new equipment and this weekend I will find out if the improvements made will help the newest engine in the fleet tackle the grades. One interesting outcome of the desert summer was the demise of a few trailer tires from the sunshine and temperatures. The 'new' Airstream suffered two blowouts while sitting still from the effects of Sol on the not so new tires. At least one doesn't need to pull over on a busy highway to change them. Bruce's rolling abode has one splitting apart as well, but you can still see the air in it. The weather was most pleasant and enjoyable during the greater part of the weekend. After putting it all away Sunday afternoon the breeze picked up and it was okay during the cooking hour, but after bedtime the leaf blower went to work and cleaned up the place. Weather at home the past two weeks has been on and off, overcast one day and Santa Ana's the next, the annual last gasp of Autumn while Winter starts to kick. Bill Shepherd is back in town for a while and has probably got a project or three well underway by the time we get to see them. Anyway, I hope to have a great weekend for the Rudy Run, see you there.