Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day on the Tracks

On our last day with Amma and Papa we hit up Cass Scenic Railroad in glorious Cass, WV.  I'm still not certain how/why they were open as all we heard on the radio was that up until the previous day the county was 95% without power still (a week after the storm) but they seemed willing to take our money so we obliged.  Someone was super jazzed about the train:

Though when we were greeted by this sign at the depot I was a little worried about having to make bail for a two year old.  Matthew had spent a good portion of the week testing the line between raspberries and flat out spitting, with much encouragement from his sister of course :-)
 Much to Uncle Matt's dismay, Amma resisted buying Matt a train whistle (I won't put it past Amma to mail one out, she was just smart enough not to buy one right before an hour car ride.  I'm pretty certain she learned that lesson in our childhood!)  However, Matthew got his first conductor's hat and picked out a blue rock from one of those ubiquitous, historical site rock bins.
Someone was pretty excited to get on the train:
 And helped us pick out our seats:
 Somewhere over the past week, Catherine picked up a whole arm wave instead of just an open/closed hand wave and she spent the entire train ride practicing.  She waved at the other trains, the deer, the trees and anyone who caught her eye.
 For you train buffs, we took a Shay Locomotive, or geared steam locomotive.  The tracks we took were old logging camp tracks and included this switchback, where we switched from being pushed to being pulled up the mountainside:
 A view of the engine as we rounded another curve:
 Someone else trying on the hat:
 The trip we took was the "Ribs and Rails" trip which included a picnic dinner and bluegrass when we got to the top of the mountain.  Catherine was a big fan of the ribs and baked beans:
 But mostly the kids enjoyed some dancing with Papa:
 And the view wasn't too shabby either:
 There were some extra tracks at the top so Matthew obliged me for a picture with his new hands-on-hips picture pose:
 And some more very serious dancing:
 On the way back down we chose to sit on the other end of the train near the engine.  I tried to get a picture of both kids but this was the closest I got:
 But someone sure had fun with Papa:
And the boys passed the camera around for a while and someone got this pic of me and Catherine.  She was just about reaching her limit for the day but stuck it out like a real trooper:
But after a while sitting in the front lost its appeal as we were too close to the whistle and Amma and Papa spent a lot of the ride down helping Matthew cover his ears:
 These guys were to blame for the whistle blowing as they engineer kept needing to encourage them to get off the tracks.
So, if you ever find yourself in Cass, WV or the vicinity, you should do this trip.  (Well, first you should drive over into VA and say hi to my awesome parents, and then do this trip.)    And, because every small town museum/historical sight must have something creepy and slightly off-kilter that has nothing to do with the story its trying to tell, I leave you with this picture of a creepy bear  :-)

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