Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Circle Trip to Trains

Because we did our weekly grocery shopping in Reno after the ill-fated dentist appointment on Thursday, this weekend we had no specific commitments. It was a rare weekend when I was home and we didn't have something we had to do. Furthermore, the weather was lovely and springlike (which is unfortunate for the long term, but when it's raining soup, grab a bucket). So Lisa suggested a bit of a joy ride. We first drove to Reno, then headed south just to check out the I-580/US-395 extension we'd watched being built for years, over which we'd never driven before. We continued south to Carson City, had lunch at the Nugget across from the Capitol, and went to the Nevada State Railroad Museum. We've visited the NSRM a number of times, and this visit originally was intended to only be trip to the gift store.

Lisa wanted to buy me some train books as a belated Christmas present, which was nice of her. We also ended up buying a museum membership, a third of the cost of which was offset by the discount on the books. The membership comes with free admission for the two of us for a year as well, so we decided to stick around.

While we were looking through the books, a railfan approached us for whom the derisive term "foamer" (UK: "anorak" Japanese: "otaku" Fannish: "fanboy") seems to apply. He engaged us in conversation clearly intending to show off his railroad knowledge. We stayed polite with him and simply out-classed him on everything he raised. In particular, Lisa, whose knowledge of railroading is at least as extensive as mine, more or less drowned him in facts even as he seemed to persist in not believing the girl could actually know anything about trains. I pointed out that not only did she know what she was talking about, but that I've been on trains (well, trolleys) driven by her. Eventually the foamer slunk away, muttering to himself.

We didn't really want to get into that sort of exercise — we're "enthusiasts" not "foamers" — but the fellow refused to take a hint when we tried to let him know that we really wanted to be left alone to review what railroading books were on offer.

Anyway, after stowing the books we'd bought and looking through the revamped main gallery (the museum's exhibits have been completely redone since we were last there, and there was enough on tap that we will certainly come back again), we went out to the back building, where they store some of the operating equipment like the McKeen Motor Car, and historic artifacts like the passenger coach that they believe is the one in which the Golden Spike was carried to Promontory Summit for the completion of the first transcontinental railroad. Today was not an "operating" day in that none of their equipment was out providing rides around the grounds, but it was still fun to look at the equipment and displays.

After our longer-than-planned stop at the museum, we stopped for Jamba Juice, then headed home, but not by the route we'd come there. We looped back by way of US-50 and then US-50A, turning north at Silver Springs.

I don't get enough days "off" like that. I hope to get more of them in the future. There are other day trips we plan to make, such as a visit to Fort Churchill State Park and the Western Pacific Railroad Museum in Portola.
Tags: lisa, tourism, trains
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