California Trip 2006

Day 10

Thursday, October 5, 2006

It rained off and on all night long and we are waking up to cloudy skies and 55 degrees.

Today it's off to the California State Railroad Museum and Old Sacramento. We got to the museum at 10:00 right when it was opening.

Train Museum
The side of the Train Museum building

We sat through a twenty minute movie of the transcontinental railroad that didn't go into much detail. They started a tour right after that but we decided not to tag along but do a self guided tour by ourselves.

The museum is absolutely fabulous with wonderfully restored locomotives and rail cars. Inside each locomotive or car was a museum person ready to tell you all about it. They were very knowledgeable and were able to answer most questions.

Railroad guy telling us about the workings of the cab-forward locomotive
Railroad guy telling us about the workings of the cab-forward locomotive

Outside the only cab-forward locomotive ever built
Outside the only cab-forward locomotive ever built.

The locomotives ran from very early steam locomotives to 1950's diesel electrics.

Old Trail
Early Locomotive and Pullman Cars

Diesel Electric
1950's Diesel Electric

They had Pullman sleeper cars, dining cars and box cars.

Old Pullman
Very Early Pullman Car

There was a mail car like the one I use to watch as a kid back in Nebraska. The mailman onboard the car would snatch the mail bag from a pole as the train rolled by. They would toss a full bag of mail out of the car. It was fun to see the inside of this car after all these years.

They have a nice display of model trains on the upper floor.

Mule Train
Model of a Mule Train working lumber

Many of them date from the early 1900's. They do not have any big trail layouts but one small one that is nice.

We spent over three hours in the museum and highly recommend it to anyone with at least a little bit of interest in railroads.

We decided to walk around Old Sacramento to find a place to eat.

Old Sacramento
Old Sacramento

We thought it was rather disappointing because there was not much there except tourist traps, gift stores, tattoo shops, fortune tellers, and T-shirt shops. The old buildings are fun to look at and it gave us a feeling like we were in New Orleans. Neither one of us has ever been to New Orleans but it felt that way any how.

There are a few nuggets to be found but you have to look for them. The Wells and Fargo office was small but interesting with some good history on Henry Wells and William Fargo.

We also found a wonderful old hardware store.

Huntington and Hopkins
Huntington and Hopkins Hardware Store

Huntington and Hopkins Hardware is located next to the train museum. It is like stepping back in time to the turn of the century and I don't mean 2000! The store was built around 1857 and has all the hardware and tool bins just as they were.

Inside the hardware store
This is the main counter of the hardware store.

Inside the hardware store
The items on the front of the drawers showed what was stocked inside the drawer.

There were many tools that were hard to identify. The lady that runs the store was very knowledgeable about the tools. For someone like me it was a real find.

From there it was back to the campground. We pulled out the lawn chairs, grabbed a book and headed for the pond. There were lots of birds to watch and the Snowy Egret that flew by was especially pretty.

Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret flying by.

Despite all the doom and gloom of the weather prognosticators it turned out to be a beautiful day and we had a really grand time.


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