Would I like to go for a ride on an old train in the back country on a beautiful autumn day?
Old trains have a way of making me smile in a way that modern trains just can't manage to do.
The Heber Valley, a place about a 45 minute drive from our house has a wonderful old train called the Heber Creeper.
I have taken a ride on the Creeper in Summer a few years back with my in-laws.
Once I realized my grandson was over the moon about trains I had been wanting to take him on a ride too.
The grandsons maternal grandparents were in town for a few day and we caught wind of a special Creeper ride designed for Halloween.
It would be a shorter ride than the typical hour long chug along the Provo river; this would be a twenty minute run out and back.
Just about the right amount of time to hold a two year old's interest.
Luke waited patiently for the train to arrive, wearing (as usual) one of his Thomas and Friends train tee shirts.
Three month old baby Cal wore a hat knitted by his uncle's girlfriend.
The train motif made it his perfect topper for the ride.
(Each ticket holder was allowed to select a pumpkin after the ride...there were huge boxes and piles of pumpkins everywhere!)
Train's a' comin'!
Pick a window seat...
Seems like outside is moving somehow.
Once the train picked up speed, so did Luke and his little girl friend!
(Notice that he holds his favorite Thomas train in his hand.)
Cal got a super seat of his own with his girlfriend/grandmother Gigi.
Mouth fallen open in awe...
Calvin got handed off to his Granddad while Luke and Gigi watched the scenes pass by their window.
Little finger pointing in wonder...
(Both of them were mesmerized...)
And why not?
Yellow aspen groves glowed from the mountain tops.
and farms nestled against autumn leaf confetti like dappled hillsides.
(Bernie and I really love the rural scenic Heber Valley and sometimes talk about moving there.)
The farms/ranches seem almost a tad too perfect.
(I suspect some California yuppies have decided they want to play rancher and build a ranch more for looks than actual ranching.)
Two horses...didn't see any other kinds of animals on the grounds.
The Provo river is a huge attraction there.
When notable fishing rivers of America are listed, the Provo is always near the top of the list.
Even if one doesn't catch a fish, one is sure to see a lot of beauty anyway.
Train ride...ten minutes in.
Pumpkin muffins baked by Gigi.
Then there was music and the kids were encouraged to get up and DANCE!
And dance they did!
They did The Monster Mash.
And the Chicken Dance..
They let it go to "Let It Go"
Luke's paternal great grandparents were professional dancers.
I think this little apple has not fallen far from the tree!
The boy could bust some fly dance moves.
After all that the train conductor gave everyone a pumpkin cookie.
TWO snacks in twenty minutes!
This is just amazing!
No snacks for baby Cal.
He looks a tad worried doesn't he?
Well, there was a lot of singing and dancing and bouncing about with all the big kids around him.
MaMa Rachel held him close.
I promise you Calvin...I will make sure you get to take a ride on the train again when you are older.
What did he see now?
Views...horses...rivers...other trains...fall colors...
As our train pulled into the station Luke and his friend leaned out the window to watch.
Look at those happy faces!
When Luke is older we will come again and explore some of the other trains parked in the museum area.
They are all so photogenic.
A fun location to take a family photo...
We will see her, and our co-grandfather again at Christmas.
And maybe we will even take the train ride again.
The Polar Express...through a snowy night, with Santa along for the journey?
It is an option.
Sounds kind of fun and kinda of crazy too doesn't it?