Five below zero, with snow coming down outside this morning. This is another one of those days where I struggle with embracing winter via the POTD selection or seeking escapism by posting something less winteresque. Embracing the season won out again, but just barely.
The day we drove from Sacramento to Pt. Reyes back in January started out quite foggy, with the sun occasionally partially penetrating the clouds. That, along with the brilliant green foliage along the way made it seem more like we were driving somewhere in Ireland instead of California. On the way back however, the fog had disappeared, taking with it all illusions of being elsewhere.
There are so many train aficionados out there I doubt that there is a train museum around that has a hard time finding volunteers to run the place–especially if you let them dress up as train men (and they do seem to be mostly men). The train museum in Sacramento was full of knowledgeable fellows who were more than willing to enlighten you about any aspect of trains. You have to be careful in asking questions though. Connie asked one gentleman a simple question about the function of one of those mysterious parts on a steam locomotive. I wandered off to take some more photos and when I came back a half hour later he was still talking to her about the inner workings of the machinery. Given the glazed look on Connie’s face, I doubt much of what he was saying was sinking in at that point.
Old steam locomotives are comprised of a dizzying jumble of pipes, tubes, levers, wheels, valves, and other mysterious parts. Taken as a whole, understanding how they work seems almost an impossible task. In smaller bites, they seem a bit more comprehensible, and also make for interesting utilitarian sculptural pieces.
When we were in Sacramento in January, we spent a morning at the train museum. While sitting in their little movie theater waiting to see the 20 minute film introduction I took this photo of the theater lights shining on the movie screen. I suppose it was because I was in a train museum that the lights and shadows seemed to impart a sense of spinning motion–like a spoked train wheel rolling down the track. That of course reminded me of a song: