Ready to see the sights. What sights? We’re on the Big South Fork Scenic Railway.
Currently the train is pulled by this diesel engine. They’re renovating a steam engine that will be used in the future. I’m not sure which is better; smelling diesel smoke on the ride or having smoke and ash rain down from a steam engine.
They clearly didn’t waste a lot of effort creating clearance for the train when they cut the bed through the hills here.
I didn’t get the closest shot of the rocks. I should have looked at the sides of the train to look for scrapes from the train wobbling.
Someone set up a colorful garden gnome on this rock shelf in the hillside. My cell phone camera couldn’t shoot fast enough and we were past it.
The train’s sole destination is the somewhat historic Blue Heron coal and lumber camp. This placard explains some of the history.
One feature of this camp was this very advanced coal tippler. At the time it was built it was the most modern I think in the world. Unfortunately the coal seams here weren’t as abundant as thought.
There was a small museum associated with this camp but not a lot of attraction.
Nat and I were invited to Daytona Beach for our friend Chuck’s birthday. Not just any birthday though; this one was designed to be a surprise. Chuck’s girlfriend devised a distraction to get him away from the house. While he was away folks gathered at his house.
While we were waiting for Chuck this guy stopped by for a minute. Chuck wasn’t there yet so he left.
While the gang waited watching the gate to the yard Chuck naturally went inside first. He was steered out onto his deck for the surprise. At this point he’s just noticing how many folks are in his back yard.
About now he’s begun spotting faces in the crowd he never expected to see. Look closely and you’ll notice a tear.
In a matter of seconds he appears in the crowd and begins hugging. Friends, family, spouses, anybody in reach got hugged. This is one happy guy.
See what I mean? He’s not done though…
The two daughters helped plan this. Clearly Chuck has forgiven them for surprising him.
Chuck has finally gotten his fill of hugging for now and is settled into eating and chatting.
Okay we may not sing well but the cake is another cool surprise. It’s in the shape of his business logo. Luckily nobody tried to put 60 candles on it. Unfortunately the only candles around were trick candles that light themselves.
Time to make a wish.
Much visiting, reminiscing, and some drinking and eating ensues.
Next day we hit the beach to walk down to the Ocean Deck for a drink and a snack.
Daytona Beach has rules about open alcohol containers on the beach. Ocean Deck is responsible in letting you know about the rules and (if you read the fine print) a quick happy solution to the problem.
Happy Birthday Chuck! We had fun watching you have fun.
A bunch of ROK folks chipped in to ride support for the Cherohala Challenge bicycle ride starting in Tellico Plains.
This rider rides his motorcycle to the bicycle ride carrying his bicycle. Pretty neat.
They had a good cadre of motorcycle riders from our club and some others. The ROK riders mostly chose to escort the longest ride of 113 miles. Some of the bicyclists rode all the way uphill on the “Dragon” then all the way to the top of the Cherohala Skyway still looking fresher than I would have a mile from the parking lot on level ground. Some of these guys were really fit. It made for a fun day of riding for us including a good scenic ride to and from the event.
I got some surprise help from a neighbor while my father in law was also around. With all the help we dropped the front clip back on the Camaro. I’d been finished for a few weeks and just waiting for some help at this.
The car is finished and we drove it yesterday. Next I need to try to figure out what’s up with the carb. It just doesn’t feel right. There are several rattles still present from the exhaust being too close to the frame and possibly from the jack in the trunk. My goal is to make it quiet and solid.
We went out to see Fort Miles while we were in the area. Very cool shore defense installation from World War II. They had some gun emplacements of 6″ and 8″ guns and a 12″ gun from a battleship that was there for cleaning up and display. I want to see what the 16″ guns look like but we were limited on time when we were there.
We could get up close to the 8″ and 6″ guns as well as some anti aircraft guns placed around. We also climbed the spotter towers. I know I’ve got more pictures to add to this somewhere.