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The Trip to bring Elizabeth to my home

by Chris Guenzler

This trip was one I had to make no matter what was going on in the world at the time. My life was about to start a new chapter, as was Elizabeth's. She had had a major change in her personal life and was now divorced. We decided that we were perfect for each other so I planned on asking her to marry me on this trip. My location would be the Caboose Motel at Dunsmuir Railroad Park.

I got up, fixed breakfast and shaved before checking the Internet then driving down to the Santa Ana train station where I parked in the northeast lot. I walked over to Track 1 and sat on the bench at the north end. I knew that there would be a southbound Amtrak train before mine.

Pacific Surfliner 1574 came and then left Santa Ana. I called Chris Parker then Elizabeth called me. I then waited for my train to arrive.

Pacific Surfliner 763 4/18/2020

Pacific Surfliner 763 came into Santa Ana and I told the conductor my name and boarded the second car of the train. The train stopped at Anaheim and Fullerton before it made the final sprint to LAUPT. Here I detrained and waited for a red cap to take me to the Metropolitan Lounge at LAUPT. I enjoyed a Coca-Cola while waiting for my final train of this trip. The red cap then drove me back to the Coast Starlight and I waited to board.

Coast Starlight 14 4/18/2020

Coast Starlight in Los Angeles. The train had a consist of Engines 55 and 179, Sleeper 32002, Diner 38021, Lounge 33016 and Coaches 34098 and 31043. I gave the conductor my name and he told me to board. Then Matthew, my sleeping car attendant, told me room three. Once I got there, I sanatized the room then whipped out the computer to be caught up on the story before watching Railfans Chasing Trains. After that I went to the lounge car for lunch. This is because the dining car serves high sodium meals which I don't dare eat with my blood pressure. So I had a hot dog, Roll Gold Pretzel and a Coca-Cola for my lunch which I ate at an empty table in the deserted upper level of the lounge car. With no meeting of Pacific Surfliner 774 now just LAX to San Diego, we arrived into Simi Valley 15 minutes early and I took fresh air catching up with Matthew. After that I put on my DVD Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Concert.

During the concert, a picture of the first view of the Pacific Ocean. I took fresh air break at Santa Barbara. After Miley I put on my Alice Cooper DVD of Theater of Death Live at Hammersmith 2007.

Near Point Conception this ship was anchored offshore. After Alice I put on my DVD of Fawlty Towers and watched one eposide that took me to the outskirts of San Luis Obispo where I took a fresh air break after we waited for the southbound Coast Starlight to leave at 3:20 PM.

Coast Starlight at San Luis Obispo. I reboarded and continued watching Fawlty Towers. I had a lounge car dinner of chicken tenders and a bottled water with a chocolate chip cookie for dessert. This took me to San Jose where we arrived early and I took my last fresh air break of the day. So I watched two of the three DVDs of Fawlty Towers and will watch the last one tomorrow morning. I made up my room and slept the night away.

4/19/2020 I woke up near Bray and went to the lounge car for a cinnamon roll and orange juice for breakfast. All my meals are free. I sat in the lounge car eating my breakast as we neared Oregon then started the last disc that took me into Klamath Falls. I took some fresh air, caught up the story and then continued watching Fawlty Towers. That took me to Chemult where I put on my DVD of Alice Cooper Brutally Live whick I watched for twenty minutes then paused it for the climb and descent of Cascade Summit and then the grade to to the Salt Creek Bridge. I then had lunch of a hot dog, pretzels and a Coca-Cola. After that more Alice before I packed up the room and was ready to detrain in Eugene. It had been another excellent trip on the Coast Starlight and they got me to Elizabeth.

The Trip Home

Elizabeth picked me up and we made our way south down Interstate 5 to north of Winchester where we saw power for the Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad in their yard. We exited and found a bridge from which to photograph.

A Central Oregon and Pacific freight train being prepared to head south. From here we drove to Winston and turned on Oregon 42 west and drove out to Remote where we found our prey.

Sandy Creek Covered Bridge.

Elizabeth along Oregon Highway 42. From here we went back east on Oregon 42 then south on Interstate 5 to Medford and our next stop of our trip.

Michigan-California Lumber narrow gauge 0-4-0T 11 built by Vulcan Iron Works (Wilkes-Barre) 224 in 1900. From here we went a short distance to our next stop.

We found the Central Oregon and Pacific engine facility for


Central Oregon and Pacific SD40-2 3499 former Canadian National.

Central Oregon and Pacific GP39-2 2153.

Central Oregon and Pacific GP38-3 2047.

Central Oregon and Pacific GP38-3 2062 former Baltimore and Ohio

Central Oregon and Pacific spreader. Next we drove to our last stop in Medford.

Southern Pacific Medford station. Next we drove south to Ashland to our next stop.

Southern Pacific Ashland station.

The Ashland Golden Spike story told on this plaque. From here we drove south into California to Yreka and our next stop.

The Yreka Western Railroad station.

Yreka Western Railroad scene. We drove to KFC to pick up dinner then found our covered bridge here.

The Collins Covered Bridge in Yreka. From here we drove south to Dunsmuir and the Dunsmuir Railroad Park where we had Central California Traction Caboose for our night's stay. I carried Elizabeth across the threshhold into the caboose. We got the feel for the caboose and then visited the cupola for a few minutes. When we climbed down, I was ready and bent down on one knee and said "Elizabeth Joyce Ruth Davidge Alkire, will you marry me?" After a moment in which she was enthralled by the ring, she responded "Yes!" so I slid the ring onto her finger to seal our relationship.

The ring on Elizabeth's finger. After that we retired for the night.

4/20/2020 I got up and decided to take pictures of everything at the Dunsmuir Railroad Park.

Our caboose that we stayed in last night.

A Wells Fargo Express car.

Southern Pacific dining car 2301.

Anderson & Middletown Lumber Company Willamette 3 truck Shay 7.

The Castle Crag Peaks with Motel Office and Gift Shop in the foreground.

A wedge snowplow.

Track speeder.

Short semaphore signal.

Dunsmuir Railroad Park view.

The water tank and steam engine.

Information about this steam engine.

Motel Office and Gift Shop.

The Erie Railroad caboose 777.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 1423.

Great Northern caboose 1286.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 1402.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 442.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 4212.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 4235.

Santa Fe caboose 99584.

Santa Fe caboose 99230.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 4227.

Santa Fe caboose 99138.

Cotton Belt wide vision caboose 33.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 1696.

Santa Fe caboose 99488.

A flat car on display.

Northern Pacific caboose 1609.

Southern Pacific box car 1245.

Union Pacific caboose 4047.

Great Northern Caboose 416.

Southern Pacific caboose 1047.

Yreka Western caboose 1505.

Castle Crag Peaks.

McCloud River Railroad caboose 228.

Burlington Northern caboose 1138.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 1402. We have come full circle.

Back to our caboose where I started.

There is a logging caboose on display here.Now I will show you the inside of our Central California Traction caboose.

The toilet and sink in this caboose.

The very nice old fashioned bath tub.

Two views showing the king size bed.

Elizabeth using her computer and the work area in the caboose. We packed up and loaded the car before we moved the car away from the caboose.

One last view before we left the Dunsmuir Caboose motel. We dropped our paperwork and key into the key drop then drove to the north side of Dunsmuir for another steam engine.

Southern Pacific 2-6-0 1727 in Dunsmuir. After that we found another surprise.

Southern Pacific caboose The Spirit that Won the West. From here we drove to the Amtrak station in Dunsmuir.

Dunsmuir Amtrak station.

The Dunsmuir water tank. Our last thing to do was to gas up the car in Dunsmuir and we were off south again down Interstate 5 to Redding where we stopped at MacDonalds and picked up our breakfast to go and ate it in their parking lot. After that it was in to Redding to our next stop.

The Southern Pacific Redding station. From here we drove to Chico to our next stop.

Great Nothern Diner 1127 in Chico.

Southern Pacific Chico station. We then drove to Oroville to our next stop.

Western Pacific 0-6-0 164.

Fire-damaged Santa Fe caboose 999582.

Western Pacific Oroville station.

A former Western Pacific maintenance-of-way car 0903 which is the site of a hair salon. From here we drove to Marysville and our next stop on this journey.

Western Pacific Marysville station. From here, Elizabeth was tired so I drove to our next two destinations.

Bridgeport Covered Bridge under construction. We were then off to our next covered bridge.

Freeman Covered Bridge. I turned the car back to Elizabeth, so she drove us to Ione and the next two stops.

Amador Foothills S-12 10.

The Amador Central Freighthouse being restored. From here we found something I had never taken a picture of before.

Amador Central 2-6-2 7 Iron Ivan.

The Iron Ivan plaque. From here we took back roads all the way to our official final destination of this trip.

Knights Ferry Covered Bridge.

Knights Ferry Covered Bridge from the riverside park on the south side.

Knights Ferry Covered Bridge plaque.

Knights Ferry Covered Bridge inside bracing. From here we went to Oakdale and gassed up the car before we saw what was on the Sierra Railroad here.

Sierra Railroad GP20 50.

Sierra Northern RP20BD 52.

Sierra Northern RP20BD 51.

Sierra Railroad RP20BD 2620. From here we drove back roads to take us to CA-99 and headed south to Tulare where we spent the night.

4/21/20 We got up and drove south to Bakersfield where we stopped at the Southern Pacific station so Elizabeth could get a picture of it. We then drove to McDonald's and had breakfast in the parking lot then gassed up the car for the last time. Now Chris gave Elizabeth a fantastic tour of the Tehachapi crossing of the mountains. Unfortunately there were no trains to be found and the loop was fogged in. But she did get to see Tunnel 2, Caliente, Bealville, Woodford and the markers above the Loop. From here, we drove into the town of Tehachapi so we could get a picture of the depot.

The rebuilt Tehachapi station. We drove east towards Mojave with no trains, but south of Mojave, we saw two. Next we drove to Cajon Pass via Palmdale and introduced Elizabeth to Cajon Pass. We stopped at the Mormon Rocks, Martinez Spur, went back by Cajon and then stopped at Blu Cut. We got out of the car and soon heard an eastbound train which became Elizabeth's first train at Cajon Pass.

BNSF 3751 East at Blu Cut. From here we drove to the Santa Ana station and got my parking pass out of the car so Elizabeth could legally park at the apartment. It had been an excellent trip aboard the Coast Starlight to get to Elizabeth and then a fantastic drive with her to get us home. For Elizabeth, almost everything was brand new and she learned a lot about California, its geography and history.