Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Railroad Rally Reflections, Pt. 2

Saturday morning, 7 a.m. and it’s time to set up the ‘Lite’ breakfast of Strawberries, bananas, Blueberry & Strawberry breads, Costco muffins, English muffins, butter, jellies, Yogurts, Yogurt drinks,  cheeses, and Orange juice.  Everyone brings their own coffee at 8 a.m. and we socialize fast because we have to be at the Nevada So. Railroad Station by 9:30.  Most everyone carpooled the short drive into Boulder City and toured the beautiful restored stock.


First order of business was the ‘official’ group picture. There are 24 in our group minus the photographer of course.  This engine was originally from Scotia, a lumber company town south of Eureka.  We have toured the lumber plant many times, but I don’t remember seeing this engine.

We had a ride in the oldest passenger car owned by the N.S. 



The ride was only 4 miles just past the Railroad Pass Casino where the rails were pulled up after the last turbine went into the dam in the 60’s.  We were told that if and when the state of Nevada builds the bypass highway around Boulder City, the track can be extended several more miles. 


One of the interesting sights along our ride was this beautiful waterfall above a golf course.  This is a man made waterfall that is only turned on when there are golfers on the $500 green fee course.  Must have been golfers playing today.

We went to the end of the line, reversed, and went back to the station.  We were treated to a narrative of how the railroad helped to build Boulder, now Hoover, Dam. 


When we returned some of us rode the the “Goat” that was built by the Museum staff out of parts.  It takes the track toward downtown Boulder City but stops at the Hwy 93.  Alberson’s grocery store built right on the original right of way so we know the train will never extend down that way.


We road past many unique cars, cranes, bottom dumpers, and old once expensive private cars. Many of these will never be restored as they are just too far gone.

We were on our own until we met our Volunteer Ranger Host, Tony Sturla for lunch at the Railroad Pass Casino.  Tony had almost adopted our group since we arrived at the Lake Mead RV Village.  We heard Tony tell us about the flag that flew over the face of the dam following the Olympic torch’s passing through Boulder City and the dam, so we were looking forward to hearing Tony talk again.  Tony had made arrangements at the Casino for us to have the buffet at a reduced price which turned out to be the Childs’ Price, $4.50, for a fabulous spread.


I confess I had my favorite breakfast, Belgium Waffle with fresh strawberries and blueberries and Ice cream on the top.  Following our yummy buffet, we were taken to the original payroll office for the Union Pacific.  The floor was on a 6 foot foundation, the walls were 1 foot thick, and the room was built around the safe, hence the safe could not be removed.  It sits where it was, a safe inside a safe, but no one knows the combination.  Some of us tried… no luck.

We looked through a very small museum, then someone asked to see the pictures of the ‘ladies’ that were supplied just outside the city limits of Boulder City where prostitution was banned.  We did notice a familiar name in the picture.


Chance, like DAN Chance?  What’s that about, Dan? Speaking of Dan, his blog, Travel by Chance, was mentioned in Nick Russell's Blog as one of the 15 “Must Read” blogs.  So here’s your chance (pun intended). 

Back to the park to get ready for MORE FOOD.  We will never starve at a Golden Spike Rally.  This was our Potluck preceded by Happy Hour.  We had lasagna, meat and vegetable, salads, bread and 6 different deserts. We know life’s short, but we did not eat desert first.  In fact we had Tony give his program on the history of the Railroads that build Boulder Dam.  I did say railroads. There was the Union Pacific, the US Government’s and Six Companies’ railroads.  Tony did a superb job throughout our stay and our club presented Tony and his beautiful wife, Jean, a gift certificate to the Bistro café and a Golden Spike Pin that is only given for outstanding service to the club.  THEN we had desert!

I did say I would mention our cache find, Nightmare on Elm Street.  We had tried 3 times when in Boulder City in February but had to report DNF, Did Not Find. Sad smile  In fact a Crying face.    We then were challenged by Cool Judy Rinehimer, our geocaching BOF buddy, to just find it because she and Luke did.  Then to add insult to injury Donna Huffer and Bob Parker, our other geocaching buddies found it too.  Unacceptable!  We had to go for it, so after the train ride, before lunch, we pulled out the Delorme PN-40 and just found it in less than five minutes. Open-mouthed smile.  We did get a TINY hint from Donna and Bob. 

2011-05-07_11-44-23_651Does he look proud?  This is not a hint as the cache is not where Tom is standing.  If you want a fun hobby, check out Geocaching.

Until Part 3, we will be On the Road Again, Caching Places that we’ve Never Been.

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