I got up at 7:15 AM, picked up some donuts and orange juice then picked up the keys to the van and headed out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point.
Views looking from the platform of the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point.
NS 9831 East.
BNSF 4538 East with a CP Rail unit in its consist.
BNSF 4960 West.
BNSF 748 East.
Iowa Northern F40PH 678.
BNSF 748 East. With that train I headed to the Amtrak Station for the morning pickup of passengers for the Depot Inn & Suites.
Amtrak Southwest Chief pulled into La Plata. I picked up a family and gave them a quick tour of La Plata before dropping them off at the Depot Inn & Suites. After that I drove back to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point.
BNSF 7529 West.
BNSF 7324 East.
NS 9951 West.
Union Pacific 4112 West.
Union Pacific 7408 West.
BNSF 4810 East.
Union Pacific 7708 West.
Union Pacific 7708 West DPU on the rear. I finished and uploaded the Iowa Trip part of this story. I headed back to the warmth of the Depot Inn & Suites. I did my wash then met a real nice family who I drove out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. I timed it right from watching the ATCS in the Pullman Suite. Just a five minute wait and a train.
BNSF 5218 West.
The DPU on the rear end of the BNSF 5218 West. I took them back to the Depot Inn & Suites then took them out to the Exhibition of Amtrak History and the Model Railroad Display out in the Amtrak Material Handling Cars behind the hotel. I went to the Red Rooster for dinner and then relaxed the rest of the evening.
I was up early on my 52nd Birthday and checked out of the Pullman Suite for one night and stored my bags behind the counter until Room C opens later this morning. I got the keys to the van before Ken Barrett and I drove out to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. There we learned that the eastbound Southwest Chief was running two hours late. Searching the Amtrak Web Site we learned the train had lost over two hours between Hutchison and Topeka. Next Bob and Elizabeth called from Kansas City to tell me what was going on. Next here came the trains.
BNSF 7632 East.
The next BNSF train had a KCS leading it east through La Plata. Next I went back to the Depot In & Suites. I got my key to Room C and they had put my luggage in there for me. There I took the nice couple from Oklahoma out into the Amish Countryside plus a trip to South Gifford to see the former CB&Q Station there. We returned via Cardy to La Plata and stopped at the CR Market for some supplies. I then dropped them off at the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. I returned to the Inn before taking Ken and his friends out to the Lookout Point. I then drove to the Amtrak Station to pick up this mornings Amtrak passengers with all my friends. I went in and met Bob and Ray Burns before going out to catch the train coming into La Plata.
The Southwest Chief arrives into La Plata. I then walked over to get pictures of everyone arriving into La Plata this morning.
Steve Grande and his wife Barbara.
Bob Manning and his wife.
My good and dear friends Bob and Elizabeth. I took Bob, Elizabeth, Steve and Barbara to the Depot Inn & Suites. I then picked up the people at the Lookout Point. Bob, Elizabeth and I walked over to the Red Rooster for lunch and they gave me "Amtrak for Dummies, The Chris Guenzler Guide to Passenger Train Travel" as a birthday gift. After lunch I took them on the same tour of the Amish Countryside but this time we made several stops.
The So. Gifford CB&Q Station. From here our next stop was Cardy
Union Pacific 7893 West at Cardy. From here we went to the Hilton Road Grade Crossing for the next train.
Union Pacific 5505 West came around the curve. From here we checked out a few other locations before I drove them to the Trainparty Office. There we took a walk.
The new BNSF retaining wall below the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. From here we went back to the Depot Inn & Suites and finally got into Room C to work on the story. Time flew by and then it was 3:45 PM and I had to meet the group in the lobby. I then drove four of our group down to Brevier to the Pear Tree Restaurant. But first we made an important stop in Brevier.
Brevier & Southern 112. After that I parked the van.Group Dinner at the Pear Tree Restaurant 12/31/2009
The outside before we were seated at the Pear Tree and our group took up two long tables. The Pear Tree was busy tonight as the restaurant is closed for the whole month of January.
Our group at the Pear Tree Restaurant. I ordered the 16 ounce Prime Rib which was excellent.
The Pear Tree gave me a sparkler for my birthday. After a wonderful dinner it was time to head back to the Depot Inn & Suites. I drove my van back to La Plata via Callo and enjoyed the drive back.New Years Eve Party at the Depot Inn & Suites 12/31/2009
The group in the Meeting Room.
The group in the lobby. I worked on the story until it was time to head out to the lookout point. At that point Bob, Elizabeth and I walked out to the lookout point.New Years Eve at the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point 12/31/2009
Bob and Elizabeth.
Elizabeth and I.
Bob and I. The heater once we returned inside kept us warm on this very cold last December night. After I did all the birthday E mails we started our evening with DVD's of Ian Anderson doing "In the Grip of Stronger Stuff" which we know I haven't been for 5461 days. Next Jeff Beck pulling for songs from his recent DVD. Blackmore Knights for two songs including the Pirate Song and then it was Uriah Heep "July Morning, The Magician's Birthday and Livin Easy". Every time a train was heard coming we put whatever was on pause and would go outside out onto the deck and give it a running inspections.
Bob warming his cold feet near the heater's warming flame. After more e-mails came in and a few pictures were posted on Trainorders.com I put on my CD of Queen "The Cosmos Rocks" which took us near midnight. Some of the hotel group including Steve and Barbara plus Bob and Amy Cox came out to celebrate the New Year at the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point. At 11:56 PM we all walked out onto the deck and I gave the countdown which everyone joined in at about 15 down to O, New Year's Day 2010.
I posed this picture before we all went back into the warmth of the lookout point.
The last group picture of the New Year's Eve Party. I packed up my stuff and walked back on this very cold night to the warmth of the Depot Inn & Suites where I called it a night.
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