On Thursday, March 4, 2021 we left Suncoast Designers just before 10am with Acey’s mileage at 70,456.4 and Thor’s 80,272. We didn’t expect the window job to be done so quickly, and thought we would be there through the weekend. So, we had not made reservations anywhere, but were able to get in at Peace River Thousand Trails in Wauchula where we have stayed twice already. We arrived about 12:30 and entered their “lottery” for full hookups. By 3:00 we were all set up in a site with full hookups! Shortly thereafter, there was a Mardi Gras Parade with Golf carts and bicycles all decorated, and some threw beads and candy to the onlookers!
And what’s a parade without a beauty queen or celebrity? Here’s Miss Hardee County!
Friday we drove up to Lakeland to ride on the Fort Fraser Trail again. We had been here three times before and missed this history lesson:
The Dr. Seuss quote was still posted on the power pole. It seems sad that they will no longer publish a few of his books. Yet violent video games, rap music lyrics and plenty of other forms of vulgar and racist speech go on… what a world when Dr. Seuss is gagged!
It was a nice day to be out – we rode 15 miles today.
On Saturday, we drove over to Parrish to the Florida Railroad Museum. They had a large model train set up.
Outside, there were some older train cars.
Florida Gulf Coast engine 1835 is to pull the train we are to ride on! Ex-US Army # 1835 is the Museum’s primary road engine
We met up with Dennis and Liz — Jim and Dennis had worked together in Nashville.
We passed some fields of bell peppers and potatoes. Lay’s uses some of the potatoes and others are sold locally. We also saw some cattle standing in the rain.
We took a short ride down to Willow
There were 2 other cars on the train. This one was restored to look much like its original condition; I didn’t get a photo of the club car.
We stopped along a siding, and the engine was moved to the other end of the train.
US ARMY GP-7’s 1822 & 1835 locomotives were donated to the museum by the Department of Defense in 1993. 1835 is in good condition and operates as one of the Museum’s primary road engines. 1822 is stored and mainly used as parts for sister 1835. Built in 1951, these locomotives generate 1,500 horse power. These locomotives were based at the Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal in Sunny Point, North Carolina.
These little guys made me think of Chuck and Chris oh so many years ago!
We soon arrived at Willow – which is really just a location of more of the Florida Railroad Museum.
There were a couple more engines at Willow; this steam engine hasn’t seen action in quite a while…
Engine #104 is a 2-6-2 Prairie Class locomotive, built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in April of 1920. This model of locomotive was popular in Florida for logging operations. The 104 worked in north central Florida hauling Cypress from the swamps to the sawmills. The 104 was capable of pulling a heavy train load of 35 cars of logs. At its retirement in the early 1960’s, the 104 was donated to the city of Leesburg and was placed in Herlong Park. Acquired by the Florida Railroad Museum December 2015 and moved to Willow Fl. now on display for museum visitors.
Here is the Baldwin Engine 104 when it came to the museum in December 2015, There is a fundraiser to restore to operation the Baldwin engine. You can read about it here: Fire Up 104
SEABOARD 1633 ALCO RS-3 This diesel locomotive was built as New York Central 8277. It was used in commuter passenger service, later came under Penn Central ownership and finally was Amtrak 133. It was acquired by trade when the museum traded a Santa Fe baggage car to Amtrak for it in 1987. 1633 is currently out-of-service for repair. The engine is painted in Seaboard Air Line RR colors to approximate the SAL locomotives that once served the line through Parrish. This engine is set up with some cars used by the Barnum and Bailey circus.
We find it to be really sad that the circus is no more
There was a small museum that we had just a few minutes to see before we headed back to Parrish. This was a nice display of train brochures – we have gone on several!
Were does your juice come from?
You can read more here: History of the Florida Rail Road Museum (frrm.org)
A nice display of rail spikes
Thomas the tank engine… in April, the museum will have “A day out with Thomas” event! Day Out With Thomas 2020 | Thomas the Train Parrish Florida (frrm.org)
This is for sure!
Looking down the tracks made me think of the rails-to-trails bike trails we have been riding our bikes on.
After our visit to the Florida Railroad Museum and taking the train ride, we went to Woody’s River Roo Pub & Grill for a tasty seafood lunch.
We got back to Acey and Zoomed with the family later in the evening.
Sunday we Zoomed with our Sunday School class and joined the worship service at Stephen’s Valley Church in Nashville on YouTube. After lunch, we went over to the Puttersville course and played some mini-golf.
Later on, we made a few preparations for our departure in the morning and Linda made pizza for dinner. We are heading to Port Charlotte in the morning.