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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 station where I parked in the northeast lot. I walked over to Track 1, sat on the bench at the north end and knew that there would be a southbound Amtrak train before mine.

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

Pacific Surfliner 763 4/18/2020

Pacific Surfliner 763 arrived, I told the conductor my name and boarded the second car. 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. I enjoyed a Coca-Cola while waiting for my final train of this trip then the Red Cap 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, informed me I was in room three. Once I arrived there, I sanatized the room then updated the story before watching "Railfans Chasing Trains". After that I went to the lounge car for lunch because the dining car currently serves high sodium meals which I do not dare eat with my blood pressure. So I had a hot dog, Roll Gold Pretzel and a Coca-Cola which I ate at an empty table in the deserted upper level of the lounge car. With no meeting of Pacific Surfliner 774 whose route was now just Los Angeles to San Diego, we arrived at Simi Valley 15 minutes early and I took fresh air and caught up with Matthew. After that I put on my "Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus Best of Both Worlds Concert" DVD.

During the concert, a picture of the first view of the Pacific Ocean, after which I took a fresh air break at Santa Barbara. I then watched my DVD of "Alice Cooper Theater of Death Live at Hammersmith 2007".

Near Point Conception this ship was anchored offshore. My next DVD was "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 then 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. I completed two of the three disks of "Fawlty Towers" and would 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 were complimentary as I was a sleeping car passenger. 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 another Alice Cooper DVD which I watched until we climbed and descended Cascade Summit and then the grade to the Salt Creek Bridge. I then had lunch of a hot dog, pretzels and a Coca-Cola and continued to watch my DVDs 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 in 1900 as Waddle & Fitch Company 7 at Delaware, Indiana. It was sold in 1916 to C.D. Danaher Pine Company then had a two-year lease to R.E. Danaher Lumber Co. as their number 11 before becominc Michigan-California Lumber Company 11 in 1918. This company was located in Camino, California, about ten miles from Placerville in El Dorado County. It served in the woods and at the mill as a switch engine. From here we went a short distance to our next stop.

We found the Central Oregon and Pacific engine facility for Medford.

Central Oregon and Pacific SD40-2 3499, originally Canadian National 5121.

Central Oregon and Pacific GP39-2 2153, originally Southern 5182.

Central Oregon and Pacific GP38-3 2047, originally Louisville and Nashville 4007.

Central Oregon and Pacific GP38-3 2062, originally Baltimore and Ohio 3816.

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

Southern Pacific Medford station built in 1910. We continued south to Ashland.

Southern Pacific Ashland station built in 1884.

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 built in 1910.

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 and got the feel for it before visiting 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 built in 1926. In 1935, it was sold to Western Lumber Company as their 2, then in a 1945 corporate sale, it became Edward Hines Lumber Company 2 then became Medford Company 7 and in 1965, was donated to the Sisikiyou Recreational Development League.

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, originally Southern Pacific 777.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 1423, built 1961 by Pacific Car and Foundry.

Great Northern caboose 1286, originally Southern Pacific 1286, built in 1949 by American Car and Foundry.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 1402, built 1961 by Pacific Car and Foundry.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 442, originally Texas and New Orleans 442, built by American Car and Foundry in 1949. When the two railroads merged in 1961, it became Southern Pacific 1292.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 4212, built by Whitehead and Kales in 1964 as a Southern Pacific 1600-series caboose.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 4235, built by Whitehead and Kales in 1964 as a Southern Pacific 1600-series caboose..

Santa Fe caboose 999584, originally Santa Fe 2080 built in 1942.

Santa Fe caboose 999230, originally Santa Fe 1991 built in 1931.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 4227, built by Whithead and Kales in 1964 as a Southern Pacific 1600-series caboose..

Santa Fe caboose 999138, originally Santa Fe 2127 built in 1942.

Cotton Belt wide vision caboose 33.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 1696 built by Whitehead and Kales in 1963.

Santa Fe caboose 999488, originally Santa Fe 2017, built in 1942.

A flat car on display.

Northern Pacific caboose 1609, originally Southern Pacific 1609, built by Whitehead and Kales in 1963.

Southern Pacific box car 1245.

Union Pacific caboose 4097, originally Southern Pacific built in 1961.

Great Northern Caboose 416, originally Texas and New Orleans 416, built in 1947.

Southern Pacific caboose 1047 built in 1937.

Yreka Western caboose 1505, originally Southern Pacific 1505 by Pacific Car and Foundry in 1961.

Castle Crag Peaks.

McCloud River Railroad caboose 228, originally Southern Pacific, number unknown.

Burlington Northern caboose 1138, originally Southern Pacific 1138 built in 1942.

Southern Pacific bay window caboose 1402 built by Pacific Car and Foundry in 1961. 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 and loaded the car before we moved it 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 built in 1901 by Burnham, Williams & Company, an early incarnation of the Baldwin Locomotive Works. It was retired in 1957 and donated to the City of Dunsmuir. After cleaning and repainting at the Dunsmuir roundhouse, it went on display in Ball Park and has been cosmetically restored at least three times since then. After that we found another surprise.

Southern Pacific caboose 1609 "The Spirit that Won the West". From here we drove to the Amtrak station.

The Amtrak station in Dunsmuir.

The Dunsmuir water tank. Our last thing to do was to fill the car with petrol and we were off south again down Interstate 5 to Redding where we stopped at MacDonald's and picked up our breakfast to go and ate it in their parking lot. This was because the restaurant at the Railroad Park was closed due to COVID-19 and restaurants were either only open for takeout or fully closed. After that it was in to Redding to our next stop.

The Southern Pacific Redding station built in 1924. From here we continued on to Chico.

Great Nothern Diner 1127 in Chico.

Southern Pacific Chico station, built in 1892, and the Amtrak stop for the city. We then drove to Oroville.

Western Pacific 0-6-0 164. Built by Alco in 1919 as United Verde Copper 86 in Jerome, Arizona, this switcher was sold to the Western Pacific in 1927 and renumbered 164. It is believed to be the last Western Pacific steam locomotive to run over Western Pacific rails (excluding excursion trips) when it ran light from the United States Gypsum plant at Gerlach, Nevada, to Portola, California. It was donated to the City of Oroville in 1959 and went on display at its current location in Hewitt Park.

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 built in 1952 as Texas & New Orleans 105, then became Southern Pacific 2121 and was purchased by Amador Central in 1972.

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" built as McCloud River Railroad 8 in 1901 by Burnham, Williams & Company, one of the early incarnations of Baldwin Locomotive Works. In 1937, it was bought from McCloud River by the Amador Central Railroad, a shortline operating 12 miles between a connection with the Southern Pacific at Ione and Martell. It was re-numbered 7 and worked from 1939 until retired in 1956.

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 Riverside park on the south side.

The plaque.

The inside bracing of this bridge. From here we went to Oakdale and filled the car before we saw what was on the Sierra Railroad.

Sierra Railroad GP20 50, originally Santa Fe 1130.

Sierra Northern RP20BD 52, originally Santa Fe GP7 2794.

Sierra Northern RP20BD 51, originally Missouri Pacific 4836.

Sierra Railroad RP20BD 2620, originally Missouri Pacific 4819. 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 filled he car for the last time. I then 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 exited 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.