Friday, August 2, 2013

Lumberjack Steam Train

I do not ordinarily care for roadside attractions, especially in the middle of nowhere. But when last week I found myself in Rhinelander in rural north central Wisconsin, it seemed only appropriate for a rail buff with a small boy's heart to drive the 30 miles east on U.S. 8 to Laona and ride the "Lumberjack Steam Train."

This turned out to be a surprisingly interesting operation. The locomotive is a superbly rebuilt coal-fired 1916 Vulcan 2-6-2 Prairie, a rarely seen type still running. The destination, a lumber company camp converted into a fascinating living history museum, captivated me as well as the families it was designed for.

Although the ride is only fifteen minutes long and covers barely two miles of ground, the cars are well-kept antiques, and one of them is an open air carriage converted from an outside braced wooden boxcar—perfect for someone learning to take and process video with a digital camera.

And so here's my maiden effort at moviemaking. (There's plenty of railroading sound, and there are subtitles, although I still have to learn how to add narration.) Click on HD and then Full Screen for best effect.

If you go: Rides to the logging camp start at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays), rain or shine. There are three other departures: one at noon, the next at 1 p.m., and the last at 2 p.m. Return trips are at 11:20 a.m., 12:20 p.m., 1:20 p.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are adults, $21; children 4-12, $9. Discounts are available for seniors, families and groups.

1 comment:

  1. Henry, you've just found yourself a new profession! The quality of the film was superb. I hadn't realised how lovely (and like parts of southern England) this area of Wisconsin is. Jealous.