Like many boys, I’m sure, JR has had an interest in trains (among other things) lately. He asks lots of questions, talks about how he wants to ride one, and so forth. Because we love to allow our children to experience new things, particularly if it is something they are interested in, we researched every way we could think of to allow JR some exposure to trains. To no avail. Then we heard about a museum of sorts, not too far away, that gave train rides. So, we told the kids the night before what our plans were. Probably not a great idea right before bed! They were so excited, they couldn’t wait until the next day.

This weekend, they got their first close-up with a real train. In actuality, it is a restored vintage train, and for a nominal fee, you can ride it several miles up the mountain, and then back down. History and distance were not a concern of the kids’ of course, rather, they just thought they were getting to ride a “real” train!

At the station, waiting for the “Allllll Aboard!” from the conductor.
M in the entryway to the passenger car.

JR wanted to start his ride in the old-fashioned open-air car. It got pretty chilly once we started moving though, so we had to herd everyone into the closed and heated passenger car.
JR with one of the volunteer crew in their vintage dress.

A family photo in the passenger car. N can’t be seen, but he is sleeping soundly in my wrap.

Daddy and the kids in front of the locomotive. The original steam engine could not be restored to a functioning level, so they had to use a diesel-electric locomotive. JR didn’t know the difference, so he was just thrilled to see a real one!

In addition to the restored train we rode, there were several other cars on display that were either in the process of being restored, or for some reason, could not be restored. These included the original steam engine, a caboose, and a post office car.

The original steam engine from the side.

The original engine’s frontal view.

So now the kids have another experience to check off their list (assuming they actually remember the experience!) and, if nothing else, we had another cool homeschool field trip. Ever since, JR and M have been playing pretend “train,” complete with whistles, bumpy rides, who-sits-where, and who-is-conductor.