Kent and Carol - Mobile travel blog

Roaring Camp Shay Engine

Shay Engine


Some of the tall trees

Firebox and geared wheels for more climbing power

Part of Switchback - note track above the track we are on

Cotillion Gardens RV Park - Tall trees and dirty Jeep

Friday, May 4, 2007, we drove to the west coast of California near Santa Cruz. We drove over one mountain range but it was not too high or too steep. Then nearer to Santa Cruz we went through many vegetable fields, leaf lettuce and tomatoes were the ones we could identify as we drove along. The Cotillion Gardens RV Park where we had reservations was near the little town of Felton, which is just north of Santa Cruz. The GPS system, that I have relied a great deal, led me up a very narrow, windy and hilly road on the way to Felton. This road was not made for motorhomes and there was no place to turn off the road since we were driving through a state park forest. I was trying to stay in my narrow lane when I scraped the guard-rail, which was right on the white line. That left scratch marks several places along the passenger side storage doors. I think it can be covered with touch up paint that came with the motorhome. When we finally arrived at the RV park it was a very lovely park, with the large, tall Pine and Sequoia trees and the aroma of pine in the air.

Saturday morning we drove only a few miles to Roaring Camp Railroad. This train is again a narrow gauge Shay steam engine but the scenery was better than the Yosemite train ride. The Roaring Camp train had open railcars so you could enjoy the beautiful, tall Pine and Sequoia trees. The train had some steep climbs with one section at a 10% grade. There was also a switchback area, where we stop and back up one hill then pull forward up another hill. Think of it as a zig-zag so that the train can gain altitude in a small area. After reaching the top of Bear Mountain and a short stop, the train makes a big turn-around loop and heads back down the mountain. The whole ride is about an hour and 15 minutes but the scenery, the chug of the steam engine and the echo of the whistle in the forest hills, makes it a neat ride. There is also a long s-curve trestle bridge, which is interesting. Carol said she also enjoyed this train ride. The depot area has some vintage style buildings, shops and restaurants. During the summer months they operate a Diesel train to the beaches of Santa Cruz. Sunday we are heading to San Francisco.

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