Saturday, June 4, 2011

Covered Bridges and Trains

(Gordonville, PA) Hi 79 Lo 58 – Perfect Day. It looks like our "thump" problem is solved. We're still not sure what it was exactly, but we haven't heard it since Jim did a lot of disconnecting and reconnecting of systems yesterday. We're thinking it has something to do with the Big Foot automatic leveling system, but we can't be positive. We did hear some soft thumps last night, which made us wonder what now! But this morning we solved it. We're right beside the bath house and the door to the men's room slams shut, which sounds like a thump inside our rig. But it's nothing like the loud noise we were hearing before. We have a lot of weekend campers here who are using the bath house extensively, so the door slams shut all night long. Problem solved.

We had a big day planned, and we started it off by hunting down a couple of covered bridges.  There are 29 historical covered bridges in Pennsylvania. The only other state in the country with more is Indiana with 31.  I wanted to see a couple of them which are nearby. This one is no longer used, even for horse and buggy. (Click on pictures to make larger).
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This one is newer, and open to traffic. It's pretty narrow through there though.
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After that we went to nearby Strasburg to the National Toy Train Museum. Both of us had a small train set as a kid and we enjoy trains of all kinds. This museum has thousands of toy trains, dating back to the 1800's.
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There many train sets, which you could operate.
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One train of interest is the gold train on the second shelf from the bottom in the picture below. It's plated in 18 carat gold, and has black diamonds in the coal car. They’re going to auction it off next month to raise money for the museum. We had a great visit with an employee that told us a lot about the trains and how they acquire them.
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Older trains
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Just outside the museum is the Red Caboose motel where you can spend the night in a real caboose.
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We went to lunch at Issac’s Grill. Our sandwiches were delicious. Right next door was the Choochoo Barn.  It’s something you can’t miss if you like model trains. It covers 1,700 sq ft, has 22 model trains, and 150 animations. We could have stayed hours to watch all the action.
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At one point they turn out the lights and the whole layout comes alive like a night scene. They have a circus, homes and barns being built, and all with moving characters. There’s even a fire scene, where a fire truck arrives and the men get off the truck, pull out hoses and climb a ladder and spray water. It’s amazing to watch.

Enough of the little trains, we went to the BIG trains at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. It's in a HUGE railroad barn.
2011-6-4 Pennsyl Train Museum (4) (800x600)

Just outside the museum is the Strasburg Railroad, an authentic steam train that takes tourists on a 45-minute ride through Amish country.
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A sixties-era diesel-electric locomotive. We got to climb aboard where the engineer explained how it operates.
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A steam engine from around 1910. We also got to go inside this one.
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So many controls and valves, and nothing is marked!
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These two gentlemen were engineers, so they explained what happens and how it works.
2011-6-4 Pennsyl Train Museum (19) (800x600)

It was a fun day. If you enjoy railroads, Strasburg, PA is the place to visit. We went back home for a little while and then went about a mile down the road to Dienner's Country Restaurant for dinner.  They close at 6pm, and when we got there around 5:40 there were about 20 people waiting outside. They stop the waiting list right at 6. The food here is good, but we both think the Amish food is a little better in Indiana.
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While we were waiting two hot air balloons went over us. It brought back happy memories of our balloon ride a few months ago. There’s no end of what you can do in this area. It’s really become quite "touristy."
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We went home with full tummies and settled in for the evening. We're looking forward to a "thump-free" night.


Sandra said...

Nice area, lots to see. I love covered bridges!

Sam&Donna Weibel said...

You got my attention with all those trains,if you get up to Scranton, don't miss Steamtown & the Trolley museum,My Grandfather worked in those yards when I was a kid so I was down there riding engines a lot. The Trolley will take you to a Yankee AAA baseball game as they have trolley service to the stadium. Their are big RV spots on the Steamtown Parking lot. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Dave and Maxine- Wandering Wingers said...

Thanks for the great info and pictures of this train museum. I will put this one on our list to see.

Karen and Al said...

Glad to hear you got the thumping solved.

It sure looks like you had a fun day!

Jeff & Barbie said...

One of my favorite pictures I took when we were in that area was of a covered bridge that I applied a stained glass filter to. Love all the train/railroad stuff in that area.