Monday, September 19th
A quick breakfast of eggs and sausages and then out to the front lobby to get my
bus assignment. Ben had spent almost a year preparing turn-by-turn instructions
and researching this tour. Each rider received a marvelous illustrated booklet
and map which described what USED to be there. Ben did such a good job on this
booklet, it might be turned into a Reference Sheet. It is that well done.
Since we had so many people (120+) on this tour, 2 buses would travel one route
and 2 buses would go another way. This would stagger how the buses would arrive
at the lunch stop and allow everyone to see the same sights.
I was lucky in that: 1. I was on the bus that would be on the same route as Ben.
(Follow that bus, driver!); 2. Mine was the only bus of the four with a bathroom
onboard! 3. I had a VERY understanding bunch on my 30 person bus (thanks for
your patience, folks!).
The only drawback was my bus driver (Sid, bless his heart), had been pulled out
of bed that morning as the original driver (with the route instructions!) called
in sick. Sid did a terrific job keeping us going.
Ben's route instructions literally saved my hide. Using the microphone, I read
off the turn by turn info so the driver could hear as well as explaining to my
riders what we were seeing.
The first stop on Tour #2 was the site of GN's Fort Wright bridge (the east
abutment is all that's left). As you can see, it was a beautiful day with not a
drop of rain.
GNRHS members looking west towards Fort Wright; Lindsay
Korst & Ben Ringnalda; Beautiful morning for the tour.
Second stop was the famous (for Spokane, anyway), E unit, GN bunk car and GN
Third stop was a quickie at Liberty Park for a view of the Spokane & Inland
Railway's "Frequency Changing Station". S&I (later the Inland Empire RR) which
served Colfax and Palouse, WA and terminated in Moscow, ID.
Fourth stop in the morning was up at Hillyard featuring the X-176 caboose. Just
a block and a half walk away was lunch at the
Northern Rail Pub.
These folks put on a very nice lunch for the multitude that descended upon them!
In addition to either a hamburger or pulled pork sandwich with all the fixings,
each tourist received a complementary sample size beer glass with GN logo.
Cool, miniature beer glass!; Heading to lunch; Feasting
barbeque; Flame broiled!; Ben likes this caboose.
The following was just a small sample of the GN sites we visited (or at least
what I was able to get a grab shot of). Thank you to all who rode with us and
for your kind feedback afterwards!
To celebrate, Ben, Mike, myself, and Scott & Jan Tanner all hit
seafood restaurant -- with a frothy view of Spokane Falls. (sorry, no
To cap off the evening, we made it back in time to see Earl Currie's "James J.
Hill's Spokane Strategy".