Once we had reached town, our little excursion journey had reached its halfway point. We all disembarked the train to visit the various little shops in town and explore the local museum.
While we wandered around, the crew of the train backed the train down the tracks a ways to the last siding they had passed to uncouple the locomotive from the front end of the train to move it around to the opposite end so that it was ready to pull the train back down the mountain again.
As the train pulled away out out site, Dawn and I drifted off to explore different bits of the town of Parkdale. I started out my explorations by drifting about the grounds surrounding the Hutson Museum, whose property borders the Mt. Hood Railroad tracks.
Dawn and I meet up again briefly to watch the crew back the reversed train back into the station.
Then I’m off to tour the inside of the Hutson Museum proper.
Now, I’m no rock hound, but this museum has a rather impressive geological collection in their display cases. Including a number of crystal pieces that took a couple of closer looks before I realized it was rocks that had formed that resembled various pieces of food!
In addition to the geological treasure trove, they also have a fairly extensive collection of items from the area’s history of logging and farming.
I collect old radios like this one, love it when they still work .
For those not familiar with the Northwest, these two pictures below are of the Columbia River and the Indian tribes that used to fish for the Salmon in the falls in the days before the giant hydroelectric projects were built that tamed the river and made it navigable by boat and barge.
Some historical pieces of the Mt. Hood Railroad itself.
This model is actually of Timberline Lodge, the beautiful trade mark of Skiing on Mt. Hood.
Old Highway 30 along the Columbia River gorge before it was rerouted in a number of spots and the old tunnels filled in.
The Oregon Parks department has slowly been finding old sections of the highway and restoring them. Several of the lost tunnels have now been dug out and restored, though cars can no longer journey through them.
A five mile stretch of the old highway, with tunnels similar to these is now an Oregon trail that can be walked or bicycled.
Time flies by rather quickly when you’re enjoying history and soon we needed to scurry over to the little diner in town that fixes the lunches that come with the excursion ride and pick up our meals and return to the train for the ride back down.