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"The Door's Not Shut On My Genuis, But I Just Don't Have The Time"

Trains!

My father was born and raised in a small town in North Dakota called Harvey. Harvey was a railroad town. Harvey was founded in 1893 as a division point by the Soo Line Railway. Harvey is believed to have been named for a director of the Soo Line Railway, Col. Scott William Harvey of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Like many young men born in small towns, after high school, my dad headed to the big city. That city was Minneapolis, Mn. He met my mother, worked in a few different jobs and then ended up working for the Soo Line.

That means we got to go a lot of different places, for free, on the train

Soo 440

Soo Line #440 Steam Engine in Harvey N.D.

TRAVELING, TRAVELING



I've been to:
Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota,Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa,Oklahoma,Tampa, Bangor, Baltimore, Bismarck
I've been to:
Boston, Dayton, Louisiana, Washington, Houston, Kingston, Monterey, Santa Fe, Tennessee, Orlando, Atlanta, Ponca City
I've been to:
Louisville, Nashville,Knoxville, Jacksonville, Pittsfield, Springfield, Cadillac, Fond du Lac, Davenport, Idaho, Pasadena, Seattle, Bath
I've been to:
Pittsburgh, Colorado, Vicksburg, Nebraska, Alaska, Opalacka, Baraboo, Waterloo, Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Sioux City, Cedar City, Dodge City
See What I Mean
I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I've breathed the mountain air, man
Of travel I've had my share, man
I've been everywhere

Automobiles! Why do we love them?

Anyone can love cars, and if you're curious as to why anyone would? Here are some thoughts. Personally, I think cars are incredible because they're feats of engineering and works of art. It's not easy to just throw a car together, it takes a tremendous amount of planning, designing, work and physical labor on the parts of the many, many people involved in the process. When the result is a beautiful, well built, high performance machine it'd be a shame not to appreciate all that effort and thought.

Jeremy Clarkson said it best: “It’s what non-car people don’t get. They see all cars as just a ton and a half, two tons of wires, glass, metal, and rubber, and that’s all they see. People like you or I know we have an unshakable belief that cars are living entities… You can develop a relationship with a car and that’s what non-car people don’t get… When something has foibles and won’t handle properly, that gives it a particularly human quality because it makes mistakes, and that’s how you can build a relationship with a car that other people won’t get.”

Durango and Silverton Railroad

Durango Logo

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad winds through spectacular & breathtaking canyons in the remote wilderness of the two-million acre San Juan National Forest for an unforgettable year-round adventure. Experience the adventure of traveling by a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive on the same tracks miners, cowboys and settlers of the Old West took over a century ago. Relive history with the sights and sounds of yesteryear for a truly spectacular journey on board the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.

Riding the Durango and Silverton in 1966

In 1966, when I was in the Air Force in Denver, my parents came out west to visit me. Of course, being a railroad family, we had to go to southern Colorado to visit the Durango and Silverton Railroad. Actually at that time, it was not called the Durango and Silverton Railroad. It was still part of the Denver and Rio Grand railroad. During the latter part of the 1960s, the Durango-Silverton was registered as a National Historic Landmark and was awarded as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The Durango & Silverton is now owned and operated by American Heritage Railways.

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    The Station in Durango
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    Mom and Dad checking out the engine to make sure it's ready
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    Engine Number Plate
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    Looks like everything is there!
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    Train Getting Ready
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    Other side of Engine
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    Mom says "I'm ready, let's get going"
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    It's a long train
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    Here we go
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    Full head of steam
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    A steep climb
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    Heading for a cut
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What Was the Skunk?

It’s the MG you rarely hear talked about - Yet the MG 1100 was a good little sports saloon (That's British for Sedan) that in many ways was the BMW 3 Series of their day being sporty, compact, pretty prestigious yet cheap enough to own and fairly attainable. Today you rarely see these highly advanced, spacious and spry cars around.

My middle brother, Warren, bought the "Skunk" when I went off to the Air Force. He drove it in rallies, autocrosses and snow storms in Minnesota. We decided, that since I was in Colorado, he would bring my youngest brother, Jim, out to see me so we could explore the Rocky Mountains.

The problem was, how to get 3 full grown men and 3 weeks of camping gear in a car the size of the "Skunk"? My brother, being somewhat inventive, went to a junk yard and found a MG 1100, that had seen better times, and bought the rear seat. He than cut it in half, put it in the "Skunk" and presto there was now a 3 seater with extra storage room. We had that car packed!

We went from Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Tetons National Park then Yellowstone, Glacier National Park finally to Banff and Lake Louis in Canada. Then we drove back across Montana, North Dakota and on to Minneaplis

It's amazing the little MG could even make that trip. We did have a few issues such as having to rebuild the generator (no alternators in those days and it was a Lucas after all) in a Sears parking lot in Canada. It was also very hot in Montana and North Dakota (yes it does get hot there) that we couldn't go over 60mph due to overheating. The worst part, we had to turn the heater on to keep the temps down. We didn't have to worry about air conditioning, since, we didn't have any.

Traveling with the Skunk!

The Skunk on a Trip

The Skunk is the car, an MG1100, not the people in the picture!

The Skunk Takes the Gang to Rocky Mountain National Park





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    Here is our campsite in Rock Mountain National Park. The skunk is in the left corner of the picture. Believe it or not we had all this camping gear, tent, sleeping bags, stove, lantern, clothes and 3 guys in this little car. It was a kind of like a clown car or maybe exactly like a clown car.
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    Our camp ground was close to Bear Lake. Longs Peak in off in the distance.
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    Here is a view of Bear Lake as we started up the mountain. Just 16 miles to go.
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    A view of the mountains off to the west as we head up the trail.
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    Our goal, the top of Longs Peak. Maybe only 12 more miles to go.
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    Another scenic view of the mountains. Notice the trees getting a bit shorter.
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    The scenery is fantastic.
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    You never know what kink of wild animals you will find up here. We are well above the tree-line. About 12,000 feet. This is my brother Jim and myself undercover as a Greek fisherman.
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    This is my 2 brothers, Jim and Warren. Jim is pretending to be a cowboy and Warren is disguised as Clint Eastwood.
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    Another view of our goal.
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    Now we are getting really close. This is about 14,000 feet. No trees and a little bit of snow.
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    This is Warren dreaming of far horizons.
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The Challange of Longs Peak

Longs Peak is a high and prominent mountain summit in the northern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 14,259-foot (4346 m) fourteener is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness. Longs Peak is the northmost "fourteener" in the Rocky Mountains and the highest point in Boulder County and Rocky Mountain National Park. The mountain was named in honor of explorer Stephen Harriman Long and is featured on the Colorado state quarter.

Being young and foolish, we thought it would be fun to go up Longs Peak. The trail up was only 16 miles long, how hard can it be.

Well, as it turned out, it was harder than we thought. Once we got over 14,000 feet, breathing became a bit more difficult. We had to stop and rest every couple hundred feet. It was a fantastic view however.

Then a park ranger appears, coming down the trail, from up above. He informed us that there was a storm coming and since we were above the "treeline", we would make excellent lighting rods. He suggested that we head back down and we decided that would be a good idea.

We made it down below the "treeline" before the storm hit but we did get soaking wet. At least we got close to the top.

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