Sunday, May 15, 2011

Roaring Camp & Big Trees

Me and my family went out to visit my brother and his wife in California several years ago (1998?). Lucky him, he is a local TV cameraman and his satellite office is just off of Pebble Beach!! Antway, he knows what a train nut I am so they planned to take us over to the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad in Felton Ca. Please forgive the lower quality of these photos, this was with my old 35mm camera and I had scanned them into digital, plus the sun was in the wrong location (as usual) on many pictures. What a great place to visit for a day (especially for Geared Steam lovers).

Now for the areas history (taken from the Roaring Camp website)

Mountain man Isaac Graham settled here in the 1830s. Soon after, Mexican authorities named Graham’s wild settlement “Roaring Camp.”
Original Roaring Camp train depot under construction in the early 1950s
Above: Original depot under construction in the early 1950’s.
In 1842, Graham established the first saw mill west of the Mississippi. Fortunately, the Big Trees here were spared the woodman’s axe, and 25 years later became the first virgin stand of coastal redwoods to be protected from logging.
The area’s first railroad, the Santa Cruz & Felton, began carrying tourists to the Big Trees and the beach in 1875. In 2003, the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge RR celebrated its Ruby Anniversary (40 years) and the Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific RY has been operating along the 1875 Santa Cruz & Felton route since 1985.
The dream of preserving a piece of the 1880s and early California was the dream of Roaring Camps Founder F. Norman Clark. Tragically in December 1985, Norman Clark passed away of pneumonia resulting from his selfless work to open the Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific Railway. His wife, Georgiana, the longtime Vice President of Operations was elected chief executive office by the respective board and continues in that role today.

Now for my personal pictures of our visit.

Water Tank

 Taking on water before we board and make the climb up the mountain.

 Off we go!!!!!!

Trestle remains, apparently some arsonists set fire to the wooded trestle, because of the remote location and the fact that all wooden trestle lumber is soaked in creosote, the trestle was a total loss. Roaring camp did not have the funds to rebuild it so the created a series of switchbacks to climb the mountain.

 On top of the mountain the train stops for a short time and lets everyone wander around. I made a bee line to the loco, the engineer uses this time to oil the sidewinders. (bad sun location, it was unfortunate)

One of my favorite pictures I have ever taken, narrow rails through the California Coast forest. Man I wish I would have had my Konica Minolta Digital for this trip.

Driving by the maintenance area, I couldn't help but pull over and take a couple pictures of a Climax in the bone yard.

If your ever in the area I highly recommend a visit, one can even board a diesel passenger train in Santa Cruz, and it will bring you up to Roaring Camp, drop you off and take you back down later on. This area is a great experience for yourself and your family. 

Thanks for reading!

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