Good evening, fellow readers of the Train Show Chronicles.
I have been searching for an elegant way to begin my report of Day 8 of our
It has been a long day and our adventure is still far from over. Our travel
plans for today were to take us from Redding, CA, where we had 1 HSS at
Train Depot Hobbies to Vancouver, WA, with 2 more HSS's along the way.
Well, as the cliche goes, "The best laid plans of mice and men 'oft go
awry!" Such a fate has befallen our intrepid band of adventurers. Not more
than 100 yards from our motel this morning, our faithful vehicle suffered a
breakdown. Guess what? We're still in Redding, CA this evening!
The story of our car problems would make amusing reading but I should stick
to the theme of our expedition. Suffice to say that the garage is waiting
for parts that may or may not arrive in time for us to meet our departing
flight from Portland, OR, Thursday, August 10, 2000 at 6:35 am.
I have learned in my travels that a true test of compatibility of travelling
companions is a moment of critical decision. In our case, the decision is
essentially how to get back to Portland in time (keeping in mind that we are
travelling with 4 suitcases containing highly fragile and valuable layouts).
I am very happy to report that the four of us are STILL talking to each
Reaching a consensus on our contingency plan was relatively straightforward.
We presented the various options from the most expedient to the most cost
effective, to the most extravagant, to the most comfortable and so on. Then
while Terry and I were out getting the water bottle from the cooler in
another room, the 2 women members of the expedition decided what we should
do! Easy! After 8 days of travelling in package mode, our companions made
up OUR minds!
The car will not be repaired in time tomorrow for us to reach Portland
before the deadline. We must therefore rent a car for the return trip. We
would repack the suitcases for shipment by Fedex - surface and send them on
their way tomorrow morning. Then we would all continue to Vancouver in a
rental car. Terry and Helen would say goodbye to us Thursday morning at the
airport then return to Redding on Friday morning to collect their fully
Allll righty then! BUT...we had to rent a car first! For some strange
reason, there is a major shortage of rental vehicles in Redding. In fact,
most of the major rental companies had no vehicles available in Northern
California. As Terry made call after call, going down the yellow page
listings, we were beginning to become increasingly nervous, until...SUCCESS!
We found a car with Northland at the Redding airport. With any luck, we
will be able to continue our adventure, although the Excellent part has
taken a little battering.
Reflecting over the day's activities, other than the 5 hours that were spent
in the garage lounge until we learned that the mechanic had broken the only
replacement part in town, leaving us stranded overnight, we had a good visit
in Redding. We met Bill, the owner of the Train Depot Hobby Shop on
Railroad Avenue who let us visit his 60' by 40' HO layout housed in the
storage area adjoining the hobby shop. It was fun to talk with Bill and
watch the UP Dash 9 diesels pulling a long 50 car train through the finished
scenery on his layout. This 3 man club layout was better than most of the
layouts that we saw on our layout tour at the NMRA National Convention. Go
to see it if you have the opportunity.
We visited Joanne Fabrics, Target, Safeway and a quaint little used book
boutique where we finally found a reference book on the Pony Express. Never
We ate well and we had lots of time to tell stories of our trips, of the
kids, of the way it used to be and about the way it should be!
Wrapping up the report on the Z scale drawings at the National Train show,
here is the breakdown of the 43 entries that were completed by our Z
34 are operators, 20 have a layout, 19 model European, 14 model American, 5
are Ztrack subscribers, 3 are collectors, 4 belong to a model club, 4 are
members of the NMRA and 4 are members of Z_Scale@egroups.
I will certainly keep you posted on tomorrow's developments, hopefully from
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