Tag Archives: Steam trains

Steam Trains

#25 in Garibaldi, Oregon

My husband is a steam freak. He loves steam trains. Okay, steam anything. He grew up in the country where you bucked bales of hay for a dollar, you went to the Grange Hall for social nights, and everyone knew everyone. I could fill a year’s worth of blog posts just on the stories from his childhood. What’s most important to know is that family friends own their own steam mill and my husband has so many fond memories of those days helping out.

However, this blog isn’t about that so much as it is about a recent steam-related trip we took. There are quite a few places within driving distance of us that have running steam trains. So over the last several years, we’ve visited most of them. Actually, all of them now. There was one more, and we just got back.

Our very first steam train ride was local, within 45 minutes of home, and we got to enjoy that with Over The Backyard Fence’s own Lavada Dee and her husband. Then we began branching out, to Summerland and Port Alberni in British Columbia, and to Oregon. This most recent trip meant a 7 hour drive up and into the heart of British Columbia, Canada. It’s worth noting that just the drive itself was an exceptional piece of this trip. The scenery through the Cascade mountains is amazing. And the drive was also worth it to see the refurbished 2141 engine in action. This train sat in a park for 33 years, used as a toy for kids to crawl over and play on. Then, back in 1994 the newly formed Kamloops Heritage Railway spent the next eight years (and with 80,000 man hours) moving and restoring #2141 to its former glory. It’s been carrying passengers on an eight mile rail tour since the summer of 2002.

There’s nothing like the whistle of a steam train. And the sound of the train getting up to speed like The Little Engine that DOES, well, even I break out in a smile. The video below is from a trip to Oregon a few years ago.

On this trip, we got robbed. Well, not really, but three lady robbers rode up on horseback, guns (with caps, not bullets) ablaze. It was a great show, and an awesome finish to a warm, but fun day. Worth the drive, even though we had to come home through Friday traffic.

And, since it’s the last semi-local one that we know of, we’ll have to branch out to see more. Hmmm, I read that there’s a great steam train ride in Auckland, New Zealand. I wonder if I can convince the hubby…

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Irish’s Mooring Cafe and Steam Trains

Most of you know it’s been an anxious summer for my family, with parent health issues. Things are stabilizing nicely and last weekend, hubby and I got to take advantage of tickets we purchased a few months back…to ride a steam train. Hubby’s a steam-freak. That comes from growing up in the country where the neighbors built their own steam-run mill. They did such a good job, it’s currently being torn down piece by piece and reconstructed as part of a museum display. (Outdoor, of course.) 🙂 P1080498

Anyhow, we headed south to Oregon, to a small fishing village called Garibaldi. We had a great time. And I fell in love with the area. Our motel was clean, well-decorated, and friendly…and right on the harbor. We had amazing views and sunsets. The manager even provided the fixings for S’mores over a campfire outside by the crab cleaning and cooking station. I’m telling you, it was heaven! 🙂P1080616

But the best part of the whole weekend for me was a little cafe about half a block away from the motel. Irish’s Mooring Cafe was a home away from home for me. I wake up earlier than my husband (he stays up later than me). So when we have a hotel room, I feel like I keep him awake as I type away on the keyboard at 7AM. Well, Irish’s is open early to stock the fishing boats, so I was able to grab a table in the corner and a great-tasting cup of coffee.
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But did I work? No. I spent the hour or two there before my husband joined me chatting with fisherman and the owner, Maighread. She’s from Waterford, Ireland. And she and her husband made everyone feel like they were sitting around the kitchen table. Although, I have to say, the food was better than I provide at my own table. Homemade corned beef hash, country fried potatoes, soda biscuits and gravy. We weren’t there long enough to sample it all, but what we tasted was awesome.

So if any of you happen to be on the Oregon coast and passing through Garibaldi (maybe on your way to the Tillamook Cheese Factory?), stop by Irish’s and tell her Laurie and Mark say hi. I tried to talk hubby into moving there, but alas…it’s not in the cards. Yet. LoL. So for now, I’ll have to settle for an occasional visit for some awesome food and conversation.P1080557

Have a wonderful end of summer weekend, everyone!

Laurie Ryan (and hubby). 🙂