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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grinning from ear to ear sooo wide --- his ears almost popped off!

(catching up on blogs this morning, this is about Friday)

This strange bright round ball of light appeared in the sky, after six days of rain!   Wheeeeee it was time to show our visiting pals a good time and get out and about in Northern Wisconsin!

We got going on Friday morning because our destination was the Steam Engine Train and historic Logging Camp at Laona, Wisconsin.  It's called Camp Five, as all logging camps in various companies were just numbered here and there as they were erected and used till all the timber was cut, and then torn down again.  But this one was close to a town, and remained intact.  Now as a museum, it is funded only by donations and ticket fees, and functions with a foundation that accepts donations to keep it going.

Sam is an absolute train nut, so we wanted to show him about the old steam engines in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.  We had been here years before with our kids and friends, and felt it was worth the 80 miles to get in a visit.  Steve stayed behind at work, so us gals gabbed all the way up to Laona in a truck of clucking hens with rooster Sam at the wheel!

We bought our tickets for the ride and waited at the station.... dontcha just love this pic?  

And it turns out, for an extra fee, this big big grinning guy gets to ride up front  

I can hear that train a comin
She's rollin round the bend.....

Sam got acquainted with the crew, and soon was up on the deck and into the big train engine, grinning and waving and having the time of his life!   I could tell this was quite the event for him, and we women were teasing and laughing at the little boys and their great big toy!   The guys running this train are all volunteers--- doing this because they love trains.  I think if Sam lived in Wisconsin, his whole summers would be spent here helping to maintain and run this train!!!

See him up in the front as I leaned out from the next car to snap his pic... I have a feeling he was oogling and touching every lever, wheel, button, gauge and dial.  They even let him blow the steam whistle!

We found seats in the cars, or we could opt to ride in a caboose or out on a bench on a an open flat car.  It was still a little cool out, so we rode inside.  The conductor came through and gathered our tickets, and then we were underway!
Just love the authentic old seats, iron work light fixtures and luggage racks.. and the windows would still open up too!   The old passenger cars were in very good shape and well taken care of.

The train wound it's way along the tracks, through the woods, at a nice speed to enjoy the effects of rocking along the tracks, but not too fast or too long to get boring. There was even a Hobo Camp set up alongside the tracks.  We arrived at the Camp Five logging museum, general store, farm and picnic area. The grounds were immaculate, and the staff very friendly and helpful.  We spent the whole day wandering around the exhibits and buildings, learning about the logging era of Wisconsin.
(that is Donna and Sam sitting on the bench after walking all over the grounds) 

We saw goats, horses, a tiny calf, pigs, goats, chickens etc.  
It was such fun playing with all of the animals, and I got kissed by a STUD! 

We wandered among the displays, and enjoyed the artifacts and history about logging in the Wisconsin Northwoods.  A young man was adeptly showing his blacksmithing skills.

After a few hours of walking around the grounds, we found a picnic table to enjoy our lunch.  Coolers of food can be brought along on the train, or food can be purchased on site.  We also enjoyed some pie and ice cream...   We hit the General Store and bought some gifts for the families back home.

After a full day of exploring, we caught the train for the ride back to the parking area and depot.

This time we chose to ride in the caboose.  Everything was authentic other than the pile of firewood next to the coal burning stove?  LOL ... but I am sure that if there were lumps of coal in there, kids would be tossing it around and making a mess.  There were two cabooses hooked up, I am sure for the piles of kids who insist on riding in the back on the crowded weekend groups.  This was only on a Friday, so we had the whole caboose to ourselves other than one family.

These fine little ladies were able to ride up in the cupola seats of the caboose.  
They took a few pictures for me, including the group shot above.

I handed them the camera to snap some shots out of the top cupola windows of the caboose we were in.  One of them got a good shot of the engine as we rounded a bend... look at the puffs of black smoke! 

Sam made friends with the caboose agent--- just look at the smiles on both of them!  
I think it will take many many many days to wipe that smile off Sam's face... 

He was grinning so wide, ear to ear, 
that his ears almost popped right off his head!!!

And as fellow RV blogger Judy says:


  1. Happy to see that the weather finally cooperated for you. Sounds like you had a great day. What a pretty place they have there. I can just imagine Sam's grin, he was in his element.

    Kevin and Ruth

  2. What an awesome experience!! I bet Sam was just soooo excited!! The pictures tell it all. In fact, I love the pics you took especially the one of the engine going around the curve. For a minute I thought you were on top of the train.

  3. I don't think you could have found a better place for Sam to visit! :)

  4. I'm a train lover also. So this ride has now become a definite part of my to do list. So glad Sam had such a wonderful time - and the rest of you looked like you were having almost as good a time.

  5. Sure looks like you all were having a good time and Sam looks like he has died and gone to heaven.


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