7/28/1993 I drove north from Santa Ana to my brother Bruce's in Sacramento.7/29/1993 Bruce took me to Bass Tickets so I could buy a ticket to the last game Nolan Ryan would ever pitch against the Oakland A's for the Texas Rangers.
7/30/1993 I drove to the Napa Valley to ride the Napa Valley Wine Train.
I had lunch on the trip north and wine tasting on the trip south. Food and service was excellent and I would recommend this train to anybody. I drove to Pinole and stayed at the Motel 6 for two nights. I saw a movie at the theater next door before driving to Richmond and taking BART to the Oakland Coliseum where Nolan Ryan pitched seven strong innings and had to take three curtain calls as the fans really gave him a good farewell. I took BART back to Richmond before driving back to the hotel for a few nightcaps and a good night's rest.Southern Pacific 2472 East 7/31/1993
I was up early as I drove down to the 16th Street Oakland Station and found a safe parking spot for my car for the day. I walked into the station then out onto the platform to wait for the train to pull in from the yard. About fifteen minutes before departure time the 2472 pulled up to the station and all of the waiting passengers boarded. We left right on time with me riding on the west side of a daylight coach so I would enjoy the views of San Francisco Bay and the Carquinez Straits. We passed beneath the maze of bridges that led to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge before we passed through Emeryville. We saw the Bayside Racing Track prior to running under Interstate 80 into Berkeley. We made our way through Richmond passed the joint Amtrak/BART Station and passed by the rapid transit shops. We ducked under the Santa Fe mainline and traveled north to San Pablo. We made the turn to run along the bay at Point Pinole and went by the famous photo location with many photographers taking pictures of our train. We are an all eleven car Daylight train except for an ex California Zephyr Dome Car two cars from the rear. We also have the 4449's auxiliary tender. We were now running at waterside along San Pablo Bay curving along its shore past Wilson Point through Rodeo and by Lone Tree Point. We ran below the oil refineries and at Davis Point plunged into our only tunnel of the day. We turned the corner to run east through Crockett and under \the Carquinez Straights Bridge. We passed the C&H Sugar Plant before running along the Carquinez Straits to Port Costa where once ferries took passengers trains across the straits in the days before the bridge at Martinez was built. We turned to the south to Nevada Point before turning east to Martinez and steamed past the Amtrak Station. The 2472 steamed east through the junction with the Sacramento Line at the approach to the Martinez-Bencia Bridge. We ran under Highway 680 prior to crossing Pachero Creek before running through the Concord Weapons Station. The 2472 steamed through Port Chicago before running under the Santa Fe Valley mainline. The train whistled its way through Shore Acres, Pittsburgh and Antioch. We ran under Highway 4 before we turned southeast into the northern end of the San Joaquin Valley. We crossed the Contra Costa Canal and Marsh Creek before we went through Brentwood. We stopped for a photo runby in the orchards away from the highway before we reached Bryon.,
The Photo Runby at Bryon. We crossed the California Aqueduct and miles later went under Interstate 205 and on into Tracy. Here the majority of our train's passengers got off to enjoy the Tracy Dry Bean Festival.To Lathrop and Back
The City of Tracy sold family tickets for five dollars so when we took the train out to Lathrop we had a standing room only train. You could not walk down the aisles as they were jammed with people. The air conditioner failed and all of the heat from all of the bodies raised the heat level of the cars to a very high level. When one of the trip's officials saw me he apologized and asked me to seat in the First Class section on the way back to Oakland to make up for this whole unpleasant situation. That was in his eyes as I was quite happy just to be riding on all new trackage since we left Martinez this morning. We passed the junction of the West Side Line before reaching Banta. We traveled northeast to Mosedale before we crossed the San Joaquin River on a drawbridge. We made a large sweeping curve to the north and within minutes arrived at Lathrop the junction with SP's Fresno line. We pulled forward before we backed down the Fresno line to be pointed in the right way to head back to Tracy. The trip back was a whole lot quicker than the trip out and in almost no time I was detraining at Tracy for the Dry Bean Festival. It amazed me all of the things these people could do with dry beans.SP 2472 West
On the return to Oakland I was seated in the rounded end observation car and got to know some of the members of the Friends of the 2472 group. We made our way west with signal maintainers activating all of the crossing gates on this moth balled line. As we were passing through Antioch, they announced that we would do a photo runby just west of the Santa Fe overpass. We pulled to a stop and unloaded the train before the 2472 backed out of sight. While all of this was going on, the MP's of the Concord weapons Station were not too happy with us for doing a runby within their base and called the SP dispatcher to tell them not to do it again there tomorrow as we were all trespassing on government land. They allowed the runby to take place to get us all off of the base.
The Photo Runby at Port Chicago. It was a great show by the 2472 and we were all very lucky to get to see it. Once on the move again, I rode the vestibule along the Carquinez Straights on a most beautiful late summer afternoon turning into evening. We rounded the corner after passing through the tunnel at Davis Point and ran along San Pablo Bay in the last light of day. The sun had set as the 2472 steamed through Richmond and we arrived in Oakland just as it was getting dark. I drove back to Pinole and spent an evening of drinking before retiring for the night.
8/1/1993 The day started with me on the hill overlooking Pinole Point waiting for the 2472 to make its second trip to Tracy. I shot a great picture of the train running by before I chased it east getting several more great shots before leaving the 2472 outside of Brentwood. I drove to Fresno and checked into the Motel 6 for a restful afternoon and evening of drinking before calling it a night.
8/2/1993 I was up early the next morning for the drive home to Santa Ana.
After making some hard choices, I ended up at McFadden Intermediate School now doing a RSP/SDC Instructional Assistance Job for six hours a day working with Mrs. Carnett.