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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hoofed it over to McDonald's for a gutty breakfast. It might be a while before I get

fed again. Turns out I was right.

Board meeting at 8am. Had officer's reports, discussed future vacancies and how to

replace Duane Amdahl (GNRHS Membership Officer), John & Bev Tracy (Conventions)
and Phil Gjevre (Publications). Must start search immediately. Board approved move
of Hustle Muscle to Duluth for GNRHS convention 2009 and their Railroad Days. Also
approved funds for Iron Goat Trail ($750 for 5 years), $1,500 for GN hopper car
restoration at Illinois Railway Museum, etc.

Publications: Go to bound format or stay with current format? Stay with current for now.

Future conventions: Discussed moving it to September instead of July (cheaper and

cooler). For now, it stays as it is.

Duane Buck had us done on time 11:56am! (4 minutes early). Well done, Mr. B.

I took my stuff down to Railfair to Scott's table. Scott asked if I could get him water

and food. I came back with water and the door was locked! So I ate at buffet, picked
up my mug, got another plate of food for Scott and walked in with it when Railfair
opened at 1:15pm.

Wow, is it HOT down here at Railfair! Scott's thermometer said 81 plus I'm sure there

was some dandy humidity to go with that. One of his delicate items for sale actually
began separating from the heat. The hotel guy came up to me and assured me we'd
"have it fixed or at least get some fans down here". Never saw him or fans again.
Jeff Richardson - talked with him about his grandparents homestead at Brown's Flat
in Monitor & website (see below).

Talked to Stan Townsend of Salem Oregon. Talked to a fella from Calgary, Alberta
who was enjoying his first GNRHS convention.

Stayed there until Scott started closing up at 5pm. I helped haul Scott's stuff back to

his room in two trips. Done at 6pm. Took a quick sponge bath and headed over to
Applebee's to get a table for seven. (Scott Tanner, Bruce Barsness, Bill Sornsin,
Dave Sprau & his wife, Greer Nielsen and myself). Dinner's on me! 3 glasses of
red wine (hic!) kept me well lubricated. It helped that the place was walk-able
from the hotel. It turned out both Dave and his wife Linda were train dispatchers,
so we heard a lot of good stories.

Took pictures of Cordell Newby and his GN electrification presentation.

I am skipping Father Dale's night photography class as I am just too bushed.

Early to bed, then up at 5 for the 7:30 bus trip up Columbia Valley as I am the "docent".

Monday, July 21, 2008

Up bright and early for my first "railfan" tour, down the Columbia Valley to Trinidad.

First stop was "Nature Shores" Road which is the closest you can get to Columbia River

bridge on public property. As we were driving down SR 28, we saw a double stack pass
westbound. Curses! If only we had left 15 minutes earlier...

Next stop was Columbia River siding from on high. This is the same stop we made on

Saturday's tour of the Mansfield Branch (LINK HERE).

Third stop was the bridge over the tracks up Lynch Coulee near Trinidad Horseshoe. As

we drove up, we could see Father Dale's group (we had two 24-seater buses) was
already there. In about 15 minutes, we were rewarded with a westbound table train
coasting downhill.

There was an impressive photo line on the bridge and someone said the engineer

hollered, "FOAMERS!" at our group. ;p

I was relieved. We would not be skunked on this trip! Railfanning with a group is always

tricky and I'm glad we all got to photograph a train.

Last stop was inside the horseshoe of Trinidad. Some folks climbed up for a better shot

and I went up there briefly to make sure everyone was clear of the tracks and in a safe
area. We had heard a rumor of "a meet at Columbia Siding" which should have gotten
us an eastbound, but no train materialized. (I think it was the hi-rail truck we heard
slowly making his way from Wenatchee through Rock Island eastward.)

We called it a morning at 1045 and headed back to Wenatchee. It was getting HOT

already! (It would hit 95 degrees today in Wenatchee.) Father Dale's bus turned off
at Columbia River siding, but we went back to the hotel. I called someone on their
bus after we saw no trains coming their way along SR 28.
After a quick lunch at Arby's (thanks, Scott!), It was time for the afternoon's presentations. They were:

Dave Burns: GN Officer Training Program

Earl Currie: Contemporary Operations Across the Cascades

Bob Downing: The Ellensburg Plan

Dave Sprau: Depot Operations and Dispatching

John Langlot: History of Railroading in Wenatchee - 1940's through 1970's.

John's presentation caused quite a stir because it contained the first photos, I had

ever seen, close up, of a GN ice dock (Wenatchee, in this case). I asked John if I
could copy his presentation CD for a possible Reference Sheet (we'll have to get
the photographer's permission, of course).

Dinner was over at the North Central Museum who served us pizza and showed

classic old silent train movies accompanied on their mighty Wurlitzer organ!
I saw "Great Train Robbery" and "Teddy At The Throttle".

Afterwards, we headed upstairs to the wonderful model layout built depicting GN

on Stevens Pass -- both old and new lines. In a separate gallery was a GN-themed
exhibit of photographs.

Back at the hotel, I had planned to photograph Gary Krist's presentation and then

turn in, but was recruited by Bob Kelly to help "technically" with the presentations
until the end (as Bob really needed some sleep). After 11pm, when I could no longer
keep my eyes open, Bill Sornsin came to the rescue with Staffan's presentation so I
could hit the hay (thanks, Bill!)