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A trip to Oregon's Covered Bridges Part 2

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I started our day at the Roseburg Holiday Inn Express and left before sunrise. Seeing that there would be a problem with the lighting, we decided to spend twenty minutes by getting breakfast at a MacDonald's along the highway just south of Roseburg. After that we arrived at Myrtle Creek where the bridge was in perfect light for some pictures.

Horse Creek Covered Bridge built 1930. There is not one covered bridge in Myrtle Creek, but two, so we drove to the second.

Neal Lane Covered Bridge built 1939. We proceeded to Canyonville then headed east about seventeen miles through foggy valleys to our next bridge.

Milo Academy Covered Bridge built 1962. This is one of the few bridges that you cannot drive across since it is the entrance to the Milo Adventist Academy. From here we drove to Sunny Valley, the location of our next bridge.

Grave Creek Covered Bridge built 1920. We continued on, driving north of Rogue River to the next bridge of the day.

Wimer Covered Bridge built 1892. Then it was on to the southernmost bridge in Oregon, passing through Jacksonville on the way to it.

McKee Covered Bridge built 1917. From here we drove all the way across Medford to Eagle Point.

Antelope Creek Covered Bridge built 1922. We then drove to the bridge that is the most southeastern in the state.

Lost Creek Covered Bridge built 1919, the shortest bridge in Oregon at 39 feet. From here we drove to the Medford Railroad Park and hoped that somebody would be there. There was, so we introduced ourselves to Shane and he started to give us a tour of the Medford Garden Railroaders Club.

Medford Railroad Park

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy wooden caboose 14446, built by the railway in 1910, on display here.

Southern Pacific flatcar 541254 built by American Car and Foundry in 1949. Now let's look at the garden railroad. Unfortunately, due to Coronavirus, operations had been suspsended but we were lucky they let us in to have a look at it. We will come back some day when they are operating.

Views of the very impressive garden railroad.

This bridge is how they transfer equipment onto the garden railroad which was quite ingenious. Next Shane showed us the garden railroad storage building.

Various garden railroad equipment. Next we went into the clubhouse.

More garden railroad equipment and other projects in the clubhouse. We then went back outside.

More views of the garden railroad layout.

They have a Thomas the Tank Engine layout for the children.

For the Harry Potter fans, a Hogwart's layout is also here for older children to watch.

Final pictures of the garden railroad at the Medford Railroad Park. There is also a live steam operation in the park plus restoration of Willamette Iron and Steel 4.

Southern Pacific caboose 1107 built by the railroad in 1942.

Southern Pacific maintenance-of-way flanger 330 built in 1950.

Museum scene.

Great Northern hopper car 74735 built 1900, painted as Pacific and Eastern 74735.

Former Great Northern caboose X202, built 1941, now Burlington Northern 11205.

Oregon was once known for wig-wag crossing signals.

Here are two examples of crossing protection, the rotating stop sign crossing device and another wig-wag.

Upper quadrant semaphore signal.

Train indicator signal and the upper quadrant semaphore signal.

Willamette Iron and Steel three truck shay built in 1925 as Owen-Oregon Lumber Co. 4 before going to the Medford Corporation in 1932. It was retired and placed on display in 1959. It is currently undergoing restoration by the Southern Oregon Railway Historical Society. Photography was difficult due to the small confines of the building. We thanked Shane for the tour and taking the time to show us around then drove to the covered bridge that we had to forgo yesterday because of the highway accident and we were very surprised when we arrived.

Cavitt Creek Covered Bridge built 1943.

Weyerhaeuser Company Caboose 3 just north of the Cavitt Creek Covered Bridge. From here we drove to Drain to the penultimate covered bridge of the trip.

Pass Creek Covered Bridge built 1925 which was was rather anti-climatic since one could not walk through it. We stopped for dinner at Arby's in Cottage Grove then drove to Milwaukie and the Econo Lodge for the night.


This morning, Elizabeth went and got us breakfast, we wrote the story then relaxed before we left to photograph the last covered bridge of the trip before driving me back to Portland Union Station. We drove to Gresham and found the final bridge of the trip.

The original Cedar Creek Covered Bridge was built 1883. This bridge was used in the 1995 film "The Bridges of Madison County". The first bridge was destroyed by arson in 2002 and the second bridge was rebuilt in 2004 but was destroyed by arson in 2017. The third and present bridge was rebuilt in 2019. Eizabeth drove me to Portland Union Station and after we said our goodbyes I went and checked into the Metropolitian Lounge worked on the story before getting on line and waiting to board the Coast Starlight about 2:00 PM.

The empty Metropolitian Lounge today in Portland Union Station.

Coast Starlight 11 3/22/2020

The conductor came into the lounge, scanned my ticket and I was free to walk out to my train. At the train I said "The 1130 car" and they told me "We moved you to the less-crowded car, the 1131 car". I had Santee as my sleeping car attendant and Room 7, an oceanside room. The train left Portland on time and I started my trip home. The train consisted of P42DC 15 and 154, Viewliner baggage 61030, transition 39023, sleepers 32043 and 32052, diner 38046, Business Class 34515, Lounge 33006 with coaches 34004 and 34031.

I received a 5:30 PM dinner reservation for 5:30 PM and played Klondike Solitaire then went to dinner and was the only person seated. Nothing was on my table except a lone set of a plastic fork and knife. I signed my check then the waiter took my order. He brought me a dinner roll but I had to ask for butter. About twenty minutes later, my meal, the Signature Steak with a baked potato, arrived and was the only meal that came with silverware. It was excellent and for dessert I had the chocolate cake. After dinner it was my DVD of "Asia Fantasia Live in Tokyo" for the climb over Cascade Summit this early evening. We arrived at Chemult and I made up the room and slept until Sacramento.

Waking up at Sacramento, I went into the dining car, sat at my usual table and had thin sliced French Toast, pork sausage and orange juice. The meal lasted to Pudding Creek southeast of Davis. Next the train ran to Martinez, then along the Carquinez Straits to San Pablo Bay and through Richmond to Emeryville. My attendant had me move into Deluxe Room D for the rest of the trip as a thank you for all my years of. My next DVD was the Keith Emerson Band's "Moscow". I decided to take a fresh air break at Oakland this morning and afterwards, I got my lunch reservation for 12:30 PM on the way to San Jose. From San Jose I took a nap and awoke at Pajora Gap, ran through Watsonville Jct and on to Salinas where I took a fresh air break.

Next was lunch as we were heading to the Salinas Valley. I ate alone at my usual table and had the Angus Beef Burger with bacon with a chocolate cake for dessert. After that, it was time for the set of Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" and "Nothing is Easy Live at the Isle of Wight 1970". I received a 5:00 PM dinner reservation then watched a DVD from the set of "Jethro Tull's "Jack in the Green Live in Germany" which took me to San Luis Obispo and beyond. The train descended the Cuesta Grade to our next stop of San Luis Obispo and a fresh air break for me. My Deluxe Room was on the inland side of the train so I enjoyed it as I listened to my CDs. At 4:30 PM they called us in to the dining car and the first thing I noticed was that there were no dinner rolls this evening. I had my usual meal bu had to ask twice to get butter for the potato, then enjoyed the chocolate cake for dessert.

We made our station stop at Santa Barbara then it was announced we would bypass Oxnard and head straight to Simi Valley. We were stopped at Montalvo for Metrolink 115 before we continued south and this was only the second time I have not stopped at Oxnard; the other being on that Holland America new Alaska Sightseer Car trip. We ran to Simi Valley then onto Van Nuys before arriving at Burbank Airport. From there it was the final sprint to Los Angeles Union Station, where we arrived at tonight 8:17 PM, ending a great trip aboard the Coast Starlight. A Red Cap gave me a ride to the First Class Lounge and after checking in, the attendant gave me a cookie. I waited for Pacific Surfliner 796 and a Red Cap gave me a ride out to the train and I boarded the cab car.

Pacific Surfliner 796 3/23/2020

The train departed on time and stopped in Fullerton and Anaheim before taking me home to Santa Ana. I drove to my apartment, thus ending a fantastic trip to Oregon.