Facebook Page

The Covered Bridges of Oregon not Winterail 2020

by Chris Guenzler

The trip was to Winterail but when they postponed it due to the threat of Coronavirus, I had roundtrip tickets in a sleeper to Portland. I decided to still use my tickets and Elizabeth decided with me to make this a covered bridges of Oregon trip. Now with Santa Ana Unified School District shutting down for three weeks and after Tuesday, I was working from home, I was up early and finished packing. I drove down to the Santa Ana train station, parked in the northeast lot then got my April trip to Eugene in a sleeper and left the car information with the Security Guard as I was long term parking. I then walked over to Track One where I waited.

Santa Ana train station. I got to watch the Metrolink fleet of trains come in and out of Santa Ana. My train then came in on time for Los Angeles and the Coast Starlight for me.

Pacific Surfliner 763 3/18/2020

Pacific Surfliner 763 came into Santa Ana and I boarded the upper level of the cab car with just five other passengers aboard it this morning. That is way down from the normally packed cars before Coronavirus. I took my seat for the tip to Los Angeles. It is funny if you hear a person cough now you see who it is. The train made its stops at Anaheim and Fullerton. We arrived into LAUPT on time and I went from Track 9 down and under then up to Track 10 which read Coast Starlight 14. I decided to wait on the platform instead of the lounge due to Coronavirus fears.

Cosst Starlight 14 3/18/2020

I boarded the Sleeper with Reneee as my Sleeping Car Attendant, settled into my room and relaxed until the train departed Los Angeles. The conductor scanned the tickets then the lounge car made his announcement. Next the Dining Car Steward made his, telling us that every party in the dining car gets their own table. So I will be eating my meals alone. The train made the Burbank Airport stop followed by Van Nuys.

Curving into the lower Santa Susana Tunnel.

The San Fernando Valley to the east. After the two other Santa Susana tunnels, we descended into the Simi Valley.

Santa Susana Southen Pacific station before we waited for Pacific Surfliner 774 for fifteen minutes. Our next station stop was Simi Valley. We rolled on west to Oxnard then reached Ventura when they called me for lunch. I waited at the door and the steward told me to pick my table. So I took an ocean side table since I wanted to take some pictures during lunch. Being seated alone was weird but I came to enjoy it.

View at Lunch.

Everyone at noon took the ocean side.

Pictures during lunch. I had the Angus Beef Burger along with a Coca-Cola and then sugar free vanilla pudding for dessert. The meal finished at the end of the Santa Barbara stop. After lunch we got stopped at West Santa Barbara for Pacific Surfliner 782. Back on the move the next stop was San Luis Obispo. I put on my DVD and CD set of Jethro Tull's Aqualung.

Scene looking towards Point Conception.

More Channel Islands.

Coves and bays along the way to Point Conception.

Point Conception.

Looking northwest.

Jalama Beach.

View aboard the Coast Starlight.

Point Sol.

Point Sol.

Views from the Coast Starlight.

Looking towards Surf.

Last views of the Pacific Ocean as we go inland to Casamalia.

Mustard plants on the hill are very much in bloom from all of the recent rainfall they have had here.

The Coast Starlight take the big turn at Casmalia. The train ran down to Gaudalupe then onto Grover Beach then Pismo Beach, through the canyon and almost to San Luis Obispo but our bad luck with trains today continued and for the third time we were delayed by our sister train the southbound Coast Starlight Train 11 for ten minutes.

Equipment of the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum. It finally went by us and we arrived into San Luis Obispo for a fresh air stop and train crew change and a picture stop for me.

Coast Starlight at San Luis Obispo.

The San Luis Obispo Southern Pacific station. We left slow and headed next for Cuesta Grade.

Both ends of the train on the Goldtree Horseshoe Curve. I put the camera down for the rest of the day most likely and would just enjoy the views out of my window. Now I will watch my DVD of Moscow Keith Emerson Band. That took me to a phone call so I stopped the DVD as it was nearing the time for dinner. I went to the dining car after being called and sat at a table by myself again. I had the Signature Steak, baked potato and bottled water. I had the chocolate torte for dessert. At Salinas I took a cool fresh air break before we left town for our next stop at San Jose. We made it through Castroville Robin without hitting anything and headed to the lagoon at Moss Landing.

Two views of Moss Landing Lagoon. The train ran through Watsonville Jct then through the Pajora Gap and on into Gilroy. From here it was a fast trip into San Jose where I made up my room for the night and slept soundly.

3/18/2020 I woke up at Bray then dresssed and went to the Dining Car for breakfast of thin-sliced French Toast and pork sausage. The train entered Oregon and I shaved and then changed into some new fresh clothes. The train made its way to Klamath Falls.

BNSF switching crew was up early switching this plant.

The BNSF Drawbridge across Lower Klamath Lake. The train arrived into Klamath Falls thirty-five minutes early.

The Klamath Falls Southern Pacific station. I bought a Portland to Kelso-Longview coach ticket to make it easier for Elizabeth to pick me up there. I caught up the story while we waited for departure time.

Upper Klamath Lake. I listening to a Rachel Flowers CD Going Somewhere to start off my musical day. I looked back south and spotted Mount Shasta in California. Next it was back to the DVD of Queen Live at Wembley Stadium. The train left Chemult on time and headed next to Cascade Summit. Later, we had to stop for climbing Union Pacific 8816 West at Cruzzatte. Back on the move again, it was time for two pictures.

Noisy Creek Trestle with the Coast Starlight. After Field it was time for me to see for the first time Disc 2 of that set of Queen. The train descended to Oakridge. I got called for lunch at noon before the train reached Oakridge.

The Office {Westfir} Covered Bridge. The Beef Angus Burger plus the sugar-free vanilla pudding took me to Lookout siding and from here we ran into Eugene where I took a fresh air break. The train ran to Albany then Salem before it ran on into Portland. I made my transfer from sleeper to coach here. Now all I have to do is sit here for my two stop trip to Kelso-Longview. The train left Portland and headed first across the Willamette River then the Columbia River into the state of Washington and Vancouver. From there it is along the Columbia River up to Kalama then to Kelso-Longview where I detrained. It had been another great trip on Amtrak and now I wait for Elizabeth.

The Kelso-Longview station.

Union Pacific 2749 East at the Kelso-Longview station.

Union Pacific 1642 West at the Kelso-Longview station.

The Drive back to Albany.

Elizabeth arrived and I loaded my stuff into the back seat and we were off toward Albany. We drove down Interstate 5 stopping to get Elizabeth some dinner in Tulatin. Once in Albany, we checked into the Super 8 then called it a night.

3/20/2020 We woke up and Elizabeth went to McDonald's to get breakfast while I found stations and steam engines to photograph while here in southern Oregon. We left the hotel and headed to our first covered bridge of the morning.

The Larwood Covered Bridge built in 1939. From here, we drove to the next bridge.

The Gilkey Covered Bridge built in 1939.

The Albany and Eastern Mill Creek bridge.

Next it was on to our third bridge of the morning.

The Short Covered Bridge built in 1945.

The Crawfordsville Covered Bridge built in 1932. It was a short drive to our next stop.

The Earnest Covered Bridge built in 1938. We continued on toward Wendling.

The Wendling Covered Bridge built in 1938. A long drive ensued to the next bridge but it was well worth it.

The Goodpasture Covered Bridge built in 1938.

Looking up the McKenzie River. We went east to the Belknap bridge.

The Belknap Covered Bridge re-built in 1966. We continued on our quest.

The Pengra Covered Bridge built in 1938. We were surprised by the look of the next bridge.

The Lowell Covered Bridge built in 1945. It has its own interpretive center with informational displays inside. Our next stop was Unity.

The Unity Covered Bridge built in 1936.

A surprise awaited us in Lowell.

The Weyerhaeuser Forest Products caboose 159 which was donated to the Town of Lowell.

The Parvin Covered Bridge, also known as Dexter, built in 1921. A stop in Springfield was in order to visit the Verizon store to re-activate my phone. Then it was on to Cottage Grove for the cluster of bridges there.

Chambers Covered Railroad Bridge. This is the last covered railroad bridge west of the Mississippi. It was built in 1925 to carry rail traffic hauling logs from the Lorane Valley to the J.H. Chambers Mill.

Just down the road from the Chambers bridge is the Centennial Covered Bridge which was built in 1997 for the 100th anniversary of Cottage Grove.

Our next short drive took us to the Currin Covered Bridge built in 1925. This was unique in the fact it was painted white on one side but red on the other.

A drive of less than a mile brought us to the Mosby Covered Bridge built in 1920.

The next covered bridge was Stewart which is in need of restoration. It was built in 1930.

The Dorena Covered Bridge was the last one in the Cottage Grove cluster. It was built in 1949. From here we drove down Interstate 5 to Sutherlin after stopping at a rest area.

The Rochester Covered Bridge built in 1933. We then drove in Roseburg and checked into the Holiday Inn Express but had other things to see first.

The Southern Pacific station in Roseburg is now a McMenamin's Pub. We tried to go to the Cavitt Creek bridge but a large accident closed down the Diamond Lake Highway just before we arrived so we turned around and headed to Stewart Park.

Southern Pacific 0-6-0 1229 on display in Stewart Park in Roseburg. One side of the engine gives the correct number but the other side has 229 on it. We went to KFC for dinner which we took back to the hotel. We ate then worked on the story before calling it a night.

Click here for Part 2 0f this story!