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Kevin's Coast to Coast Hobby Shop Adventure

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  • Member since
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Posted by E-L man tom on Monday, April 22, 2019 10:44 AM

SPSOT fan

I highly recommend you take a short detour when your in Washington, and stop at PF&S railway supply just north of Pasco Wa. It’s the largest hobby shop I know with a great selection. I’ve spent hours there!

 

You won't be passing through my neck of the woods (southern Idaho) and I doubt you'll find much in Coeur d'Alene, but it is truely beautiful country.

But, SPSOT fan is right, you need to go to PF & S. I have not been there but many of my MRR buddies here locally have been there and they say it is well worth the trip.

Tom Modeling the free-lanced Toledo Erie Central switching layout.
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, April 22, 2019 11:09 AM

SeeYou190

The main event of this vacation is the opporunity to spend over THREE WEEKS with my wife, enjoying each other, and not working.

Hobby shops, antique stores, and rusty trains are just added fun. Three days in... and we are having so much fun together.

-Kevin

Spending time with the wife is good.  My wife is ever patient with going to hobby shops and train shows, but I think I would spare her that if we could get away and travel, just for something different  Clown  She's seen enough of mid-western scenery that I would try to spare us both of more of that if possible.  Bleh.  

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, April 22, 2019 10:43 PM

rrebell
You are missing something by going down the middle of California instead of the coast.

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The lines on the map are all Interstates. I am spending as much time off of the Interstate system as possible. Today I drove 485 miles, only 50 was on an Interstate.

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I am sure I will get some coastline experience while in California.

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E-L man tom
You won't be passing through my neck of the woods (southern Idaho) and I doubt you'll find much in Coeur d'Alene, but it is truely beautiful country.

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I will get out west again at some point. Current plan is 2025. As long as one daughter lives in Los Angeles, and one in Seattle, there will be more expeditions.

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-Kevin

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Living the dream.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, April 22, 2019 10:51 PM

Day 4:

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Today was a total washout for me.

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I found out that the "Hobby Shop Locator" on the Walthers site isn't worth beans. They showed a good hobby shop in Mississippi that I drove out of the way to get to, only not to be able to find it. A Google search revealed that the shop was actually in Maryland, not Mississippi! Oh well.

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I did not even see any real trains today! What a total loss.

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We found a 60,000 square foot antique mall in Mississippi and spent two hours there, very nice.

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I had some fantastic barbeque in Mississippi from a roadside county store in Seminary, Mississippi.

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Then I had some great catfish for dinner in a local diner in Caldwell, Arkansas.

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These were the best roadside scenes I saw today.

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Tomorrow will be better.

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-Kevin

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Living the dream.

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, April 22, 2019 11:33 PM

SeeYou190
Tomorrow will be better.

Jack Kerouac ain't got nuthin' on you, Kevin! This will be a real, true-grit adventure.

http://www.faena.com/aleph/articles/the-map-jack-kerouac-drew-for-on-the-road/

Thanks for keeping us in the loop!

Cheers and Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by Southgate on Monday, April 22, 2019 11:58 PM

rrebell

You are missing something by going down the middle of California instead of the coast. There are countless live trains there the most famous being the Skunk Train and roaring camp railroads plus a few train shops like Just Trains and The Train Shop in the bay area, also you can catch the veiws on the coast and hit San Francisco for the day if you like.

 

And see the majestic REDWOODS! Highway 101 along the Pacific is such a treat. Not as fast as I-5 though.

However, if you are going to stop at Kadee in Medford (is that possible?), that's along your route on I-5.  Dan

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Posted by Attuvian on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 5:55 PM

Southgate
 And see the majestic REDWOODS! Highway 101 along the Pacific is such a treat. Not as fast as I-5 though.

However, if you are going to stop at Kadee in Medford (is that possible?), that's along your route on I-5.  Dan

 

 
I think Dan has a good point.  It seems like something up your alley, Kevin, with the photos that you like to take of the real stuff.  There are a wealth of excursion trains all over.  Last month there was a fund-raiser for the local/regional Public Braodcasting System station that highlighted rail tours and excursion trains around the country and in Canada.  It was wondermous, but I felt my wallet beginning to throb.
 
As for visiting Kadee on the north side of Medford, I recall stopping by a half dozen years ago, hoping perhhaps to get a price break against retail for a car or two.  Found that they were up for sale there at the same price as at my LHS.  On top of that, there was a notice that their manufacturing spaces were not open for viewing by the public.  I didn't ask about the policy but wondered if it had something to do with proprietary processes, not to mention inconvenience to production.  It is a surprisingly small building.  Perhaps both the issues (prices and tours) have since changed.  As for their products, hands down they're top drawer.
 
John
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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 7:48 PM

Yep.  Family owned restaurants in small towns is the way to eat.  Some are decent, some are bad, but many are very very good.  When I used to travel for work, our business was conducted in small towns.  We quickly learned where the good ones were.  Repeated that often for 25 years.

It looks like you were 1 for 1 in MS and AR.

- Douglas

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 11:14 PM

gmpullman
Jack Kerouac ain't got nuthin' on you, Kevin! This will be a real, true-grit adventure.

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I finally read On The Road a couple of years ago. This was after so many people telling me it was the best book ever, it changed there lives, and it is the ultimate telling of the American experience.

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I got none of that from the book. It was not easy to read, and I really felt the author was a jerk for so many of the things he described. I did not like him at all.

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I read the original published version. People have told me that if I read the "scroll" version I would have a different outlook, but I doubt it.

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Attuvian
As for visiting Kadee on the north side of Medford, I recall stopping by a half dozen years ago, hoping perhhaps to get a price break against retail for a car or two.

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I met Sam at the National Train Show a couple of years ago, good enough for me. He is one heck of a good guy. I cannot imagine the factory would be any better than that.

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Doughless
Family owned restaurants in small towns is the way to eat.  Some are decent, some are bad, but many are very very good.

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I do enjoy non-chain food. I am in for a very tasty three weeks. I hit the jackpot today!

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-Kevin

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Living the dream.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 11:29 PM

Day 5:

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What a great and fulfilling day.

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I started with an amazing find in Heber Springs, Arkansas, the Ruland Junction Train Museum. This is a personal collection of a multi-generational family of Lionel Train enthusuasts.

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The owner, Wayne, showed my wife and I around. If you ever get to come here, let him tell you the full story. He has all the standard gauge Lionel trains his father made during the great depression, and all the accessories that he and his brother made from wood, metal, and cardboard as children. All of this is put together into an amazing display.

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Nothing is super detailed or to scale, and a lot of it is repuposed toys. Wayne tried to make the layouts look like a child built them with material children have access to. The whole thing is just incredible in the perfection of the execution.

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There are two layout, a standard gauge layout dowstairs, and an O-27 layout in the attic. The satdard gauge layout features many hand laid turnout his father built in the 1930's, and they still work perfectly.

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A lot of the signals on the layout were hand built over 70 years ago. There is so much tradition and pride in this display that it is overwhelming and hard to describe.

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Wayne built the building that houses the museum. It is really beautiful.

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He loves to inspire special needs children with the trains. My wife actually teared up while he was telling us about it.

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I gave Wayne a STRATTON AND GILLETTE boxcar for his display, and I told him the story behind it. He really seemed to appreciate it. I will build and send him an O-27 SGRR car in the near future.

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We drove through the Ozark Mountains in North Arkansas and we were treated to some absolutley amazing views.

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We tried to go to the 18th Street Train Shop in Fayetteville, Arkansas, but it was closed when we got there. Turns out they have strange hours and close at 1:00 PM daily. Bummer.

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So we hopped in the car and went to Trainland in Springfield, Missouri. This ws a fun stop with lots of old merchandise to dig through.

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I found a treasure. He had a custom run MYAKKA VALLEY boxcar from the Sarasota Model Railrosd club in Florida. I have been wanting one of these for a long time. I never dreamed I would find it in Missouri!

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For dinner we went to Zarda's Barbeque in Kansas City, Missouri. This place was on my must-visit list, and we got there 5 minutes before they closed!

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It was worth it, the food was amazing and perfectly smoked.

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This is the most beautiful picture I took today:

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-Kevin

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Living the dream.

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Posted by Southgate on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 3:10 AM

Sounds like you are having a GREAT time!  The foods you show are making my eyes water.

OK. Now I gotta say, given the magnitude of your trip, and from the pictures you post and the things you are finding beauty in, I would strongly persuade you to visit Sequoia National Park in California. It's a ways out of your way, maybe, but compared to how far you are coming from, and then how relatively close you will be to it, Kevin, I've been there, and there's no words. You could even surprise your wife. I mentioned the Redwoods earlier, farther north. They are absolutely awesome, yes. But Sequoia? There's nothing else quite like it on the planet. At least not on this continent. Please consider not  letting the opportunity get away. At least one or the other of the "big trees" locations.

By the way, I live in Oregon, plenty of beauty to see here too, but a lot of it of it is out of the way off I-5.  Dan

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Posted by rrebell on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 9:05 AM

Word of warning, model trains and cars do not always mix, have seen a few warped cars because car was in the sun with no AC on.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 9:26 AM

Southgate

I would strongly persuade you to visit Sequoia National Park in California. It's a ways out of your way, maybe, but compared to how far you are coming from, and then how relatively close you will be to it, Kevin, I've been there, and there's no words. You could even surprise your wife. I mentioned the Redwoods earlier, farther north. They are absolutely awesome, yes. But Sequoia? There's nothing else quite like it on the planet. At least not on this continent. Please consider not  letting the opportunity get away. At least one or the other of the "big trees" locations.

Don't get me wrong, there is beauty in many places between the east coast and the gate-way to the west, but having been all over the US on many road trips and to/through 45 of the 50 states, there is a order of magnitude grander scale difference driving through parts of the west.

I would somewhat arbitrarily draw a line from New Mexico up to North Dakota and say west of that line are the real treats!  I grew up in the west so I suppose I am biased but the vista's are much more spectacular and the distances you can see much farther.

I agree, Sequia Nat Park is a great visit.  Tons of geologic and geographic coolness in California from the vocanic tubes and ash in Owens Valley (north east corner) to Lassen National Park (up north) where you can hike up the cinder cone where every two steps up you slide back a step!  I've sent many happy days back packing in the Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe, a favorite location of mine. 

In the foothhills of the Sierra Nevada, up from Sacrademento, there is the "gold rush" country and in Sacramento has Sutters Fort, both a bit of history from the early days.  While in Sacramento don't forget to visit the Train Museum there where there is a Cab Forward and some history of the building of the trans con RR west across the Sierra's with the cooliers.

Back toward the coast, Santa Rosa has Corbell where you can tour the Champaign and Brandy making and nice parks to visit.  The Pacific Coast highway Rte 1 if you are adventurous.  Bodega Bay, Petaluma where Alfred Hitchcocks "Birds" was filmed.  Down south the Sierras there is the Devils Post Pile and further south Devils Golf Course for geology fanatics.

Speaking of Geology, most University geology programs require a field camp near the end where you spend weeks out in the field learning to map via rock type and structure (including ignious, sedimentary and metamorphic & faults and folds).  I transferred to IU to finish and they held a field camp at Indiana Univ Field Station in Montana just south of Rte 90 between Butte and Bozeman. 

For the six week field camp course, students converged from all over the country and mostly from other universities, to attend and met at Rapid City SD.  From there we caravaned to the Badlands of SD and Mt Rushmore, and all over Wyoming (including Devils Tower and Yellowstone) and then up over the Beartooth Mt's into Montana to the Field Station.  Later in the six week field camp, we spent 4 days up through Glacier National Park around Flathead Lake and down through Missoula and back to Cardwell MT to finish out the camp class.  In one instance we drove to a location where they had radiometrically dated rocks at 2.6 billion years old!

I still have my t-shirt from field camp, and the slogan was "It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here"  That's due to the fact you can see so far, it seems like you can see the ends of the earth.  Thats why I say midwest and east kinda seems a bit-hum ho after you've spend time all over the west - it's kinda all down hill from there - no pun intended!

Now that is some spectacular scenery to see, and of course there is much more all over the west from Columbia River Gorge (RR action!) to the forests of the Cascades to the geothermal lands of east side of the Sierra's (Inyo national forest) and Yosemite Nat Park.  Strange as it may seem, I really enjoyed, driving route 50 across Nevada and Utah (labeled the loneliest highway in the US).

There is so much to see in the west, that is why an ideal trip (for an east coaster) would be to fly to Denver and rent a car and spend all your time there.  Heck, the mid-west and east coast (if you live on the east coast) is easier to get to by car and shorter trips.

 

You see, it's the grand scale of scenery out west which is why despite being stranded on the east coast, I find modeling western RR's to be absolutey most appealing due to the land scape they travel.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if when Kevin gets back, he'll be so impressed as to scrap the Gillette east coast theme and get sucked into western model railroading.  It has a strong appeal and when you've spent some time there in person, seeing with your own eyes, you can't help but be deeply affected.  Anyone taking bets?  Big Smile

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by drgwcs on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 1:09 PM

SeeYou190

 

 

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So we hopped in the car and went to Trainland in Springfield, Missouri. This ws a fun stop with lots of old merchandise to dig through.

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I found a treasure. He had a custom run MYAKKA VALLEY boxcar from the Sarasota Model Railrosd club in Florida. I have been wanting one of these for a long time. I never dreamed I would find it in Missouri!

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-Kevin

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Glad you found Trainland, that was my old haunt when I was in Bible College in Springfield. They have always had a lot of neat used stuff. My other one back in the day was the Hobbydashery- gone for a long time. There have been two other hobby shops that have come and gone over the past 20 years but trainland remains. When I would go from Indiana to see my folks when they still lived in Oklahoma I would always stop in Trainland (and Bass Pro)

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Posted by BATMAN on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 5:50 PM

Mountains!? I don't see any mountains! Just some rolling foothills at best.Laugh

I am enjoying the trip Kevin, that barn pic is awesome, I might print it off and stick it to my backdrop. It almost looks like a painting.

Brent

"All of the world's problems are the result of the difference between how we think and how the world works."

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 6:11 PM

rrebell

Word of warning, model trains and cars do not always mix, have seen a few warped cars because car was in the sun with no AC on.

 

Yes.  Keep the sun off of the styrene.

- Douglas

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 6:39 PM

Kevin, you'll be heading into Kansas/Nebraska soon.  Please try to stay awake as you drive across the state(s).  I grew up there, and staying awake on the road can be tough.

- Douglas

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 8:28 PM

Kevin, 

Looks like you are having a great time.

With any luck, when you come this way next year, maybe we could get togther and I will show you some of the train treasures of the Mid Atlantic.

I do have a question, earlier you said you rented a car? Why? I have done a fair amount of travel by car, and the last thing I would want to do is drive a "strange" car.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 9:05 PM

Doughless
Yes.  Keep the sun off of the styrene.

Keep in mind, Kevin, that there are UPS Stores just about everywhere. If you see something you "think" you don't have room for or if your cache of goodies is beginning to hury tour fuel mileage, you can always ship some packages back home or to someone nearby for safe-keeping.

I remember being in a neat, little resale shop in Sacramento one time. They had a beautiful, Seeburg juke-box "table-top" model, complete with all the sixties songs on the flip-cards. They were asking $50! I hemmed and I hawed, thought about dragging it back home on the train and decided to pass.

It looked just like this one:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SEEBURG-JUKEBOX-WALLBOX-3WA-200-RESTORED-and-ORIGINAL-CHROME-STOCK-5719-/113568762311

Then! Idea I could just send it home by UPS or FedEx! I was already a few blocks away. When I returned, the place was closed and I kick myself for not thinking through that ordeal. Bang Head

Just a thought rather than risk keeping your treasure-trove at risk of theft or damage in the trunk of the car.

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 9:19 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
...I do have a question, earlier you said you rented a car? Why? I have done a fair amount of travel by car, and the last thing I would want to do is drive a "strange" car. Sheldon

While I'd certainly agree with your viewpoint, Sheldon, apparently he got a good deal on the car rental, too. 
I much prefer to drive my own car - it's comfortable for me, and I know its capabilities and its limitations - and I usually like to push both.

Wayne

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Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 9:34 PM

I rent a car on all my travels, if I'm driving my travel.  It's a new car,  why wouldn't you? 

When I darn near got lost in the Ozark Mountains on Christmas day, with no gas stations open.  That got scary.  I think I wore the breaks out on that rental car.  All those hair pins and Hills.  It was fun for about the first two hours.  I heard a grinding sound before and when I returned the car.

Better their car than mine.  Believe you me,  I heated those breaks up bad,  really badLaugh

TF

 

I could tell you a story about that day by God, if anyone is curious enough to listen to it.  Of course Kevin would have to approve of it,  this is not my threadWink 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:57 PM

Track fiddler
...It's a new car, why wouldn't you?...

The first four words, quoted above, would be my reason. Smile, Wink & Grin

Wayne

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Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:59 PM

???  Elaborate

Thanks  TF

 

Oh (I rent a car)  It's a new car

I get youWhistling

 

Knock  knock

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 11:35 PM

rrebell
Word of warning, model trains and cars do not always mix, have seen a few warped cars because car was in the sun with no AC on.

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We Floridians know this fact all too well. 

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Thank you for the warning.

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riogrande5761
I wouldn't be at all surprised if when Kevin gets back, he'll be so impressed as to scrap the Gillette east coast theme and get sucked into western model railroading. 

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I don't think I ever said the STRATTON AND GILLETTE was in the Eastern United States.

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Doughless
Kevin, you'll be heading into Kansas/Nebraska soon.  Please try to stay awake as you drive across the state(s).  I grew up there, and staying awake on the road can be tough.

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I made it safely today. It was one heck of a trek.

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ATLANTIC CENTRAL
I do have a question, earlier you said you rented a car? Why? I have done a fair amount of travel by car, and the last thing I would want to do is drive a "strange" car.

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I did not want to put 8,000 miles on my car, and I had 16 free days earned! I did not rent a strange car, I rented an Impala just like mine. I love my car, and there is no vehicle I would rather make this trip with. The rental is gray though, so not really my style. At least it has a Florida plate.

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gmpullman
Keep in mind, Kevin, that there are UPS Stores just about everywhere.

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Roger that. I plan to ship things back home a few times. I don't have a lot of extra room in the trunk, and I want to keep all my belongings out of sight.

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Track fiddler
I heard a grinding sound before and when I returned the car. Better their car than mine.  Believe you me,  I heated those breaks up bad,  really bad

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One more great reason not to buy a used rental car. I have messed up a few myself. Always better to be theirs than mine.

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-Kevin

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Living the dream.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 11:56 PM

Day 6:

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We managed to have a fantastically fun day in spite of driving all the way across Nebraska.

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We left St. Joseph, Missouri this morning and drove in Kansas. In the town of Fairview I stumbled into this really neat place. It is Van's Trains. He has a yard full of treasures.

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There was a barn that had a layout on the inside, a MASSIVE layout. I could see just part of it through the window. There was a note that said to knock on the house door to see the layout. I knocked, but no one answered. 

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There was a 7 1/2" gauge live steam track outside, but it looks like it is becoming overgrown. A full size caboose, speeder, and about a dozen signals were also there.

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Then I drove to Springfield, Nebraska, and visited a great train model shop that Douglas recommended. It was well worth the trip. I found two Mini-Metals vehicles I had been hunting. Thank you Douglas.

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We drove off of the Interstate until 3:00 in the afternoon. We saw some really great sites in Nebraska.

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We got stopped by this train at a crossing for a few minutes.

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In Marysville, Kansas, I saw this Union Pacific caboose on display.

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Driving off of the Interstate from Springfield, we drove 80 miles without finding a place to eat. We finally stumbled upon a local fast food chain called Runza. I had a loose meat sandwich. By this time we were so hungry we would have taken anything. This chain has about 50 locations. Almost all of them are in Nebraska. It was new to me.

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I am seeing some birds I have never seen before. I took a couple pictures on a break.

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We finally made it to Wyoming, and while the sun was still up. The sceenery so far is beautiful.

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We ate dinner at a steakhouse near Wyoming University. I had a rare steak that was a great treat. 

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This is the best picture of the day, a lone tree in Nebraska.

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Tomorrow we will be into Utah.

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-Kevin

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Living the dream.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:03 AM

Well,.... heck with you Kevin.... you can't approve of me telling my story.... goodnight, I'm hitting the rack,  maybe next time thenWhistling

Smile Just kidding I was tired anywayWink...... I need another vacation.

TF

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:12 AM

Track fiddler
Well,.... heck with you Kevin.... you can't approve of me telling my story.... goodnight, I'm hitting the rack,  maybe next time then

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Sorry, it takes some time to put all these responses together.

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Sleep well.

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-Kevin

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Living the dream.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:23 AM

Take it lightly,  I am may have been bored.  I'm kind of a night owl.  You'll be alright.  Cheers to you KevinWink

Track Fiddler

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Posted by Southgate on Thursday, April 25, 2019 12:51 AM

You don't have robins in Florida? I thought they were about the world's most common bird. You have a great camera! 

I'm trying to imagine a travel trip where getting to "the destination" ASAP is not the priority.  You're smiling an awful lot!

The trucks on that UP caboose are different. That lone tree is cool. Sometimes I wish I just had one tree on my place. 

Keep 'em coming!

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Posted by rrebell on Thursday, April 25, 2019 1:25 AM

second bird is a type of finch.

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