April 25, 1999
Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad
Santa Cruz Mountains
The day dawned cool and cloudy, perfect for those of us who got together to celebrate the Hollywood Western. We arrived at High Noon and collected our meal and train tickets (ya'll can't ride the train without a ticket!). Our chuckwagon lunch of barbeque chicken, ribs, and beans was followed by a marshmallow roast.
We were welcomed by our Hero, James West (aka Kevin Roche), and his cohort Karen Tully (dressed as Maid Marion to the evil Dr. Lovelace's Robin Hood). They presented souvenirs to everyone (sheriff's badges and train whistles).
Harmonicas were presented to Kevin and Karen's two favorite characters: James Langdell and Suzanne Ramsey. James came as a Town Banker, ready with his bugle to herald the Calvary's approach. Suzanne, in a red and black spangled skirt was purty-as-a-movin'-picture singing cowgirl (with ukelele).
After lunch we gathered at the train depot to board the train for our ride through a virgin forest of magnificient California Redwoods. The forest was so pristine, untouched by the 20th century, we could easily imagine ourselves to have ridden a train backwards in time to the 1880s.
The train returned to the depot. Our gang of Hollywood cowboys, heroes, villians, schoolmarms, ranchers, shopkeepers, sharp-shooters, and saloon gals all headed straight for the ice cream cones.
A cut-throat game of poker followed (playing for Jelly Bellys) while some of the more refined townsfolk enjoyed croquet.As the final train pulled in, a group of desperadoes (some of them laying aside their sheriff's badges!) decided to stage a train robbery. They met the train at the station with cap guns a-blazin'. Brakeman Gary spun and died heroically. The train came to safe halt and the passengers disembarked. Witnesses swear to hearing the following exchange amongst the villians:Villian No. 1: "Danit! We forgot to ask for their wallets!" Villian No. 2: "I told you we needed a plan!" A fitting end to a perfect day. For more pictures of all this silly fun, visit Kevin Roche's website at TwistedImage.
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