Thursday, December 30, 2010

Back to routine, Back to school!

When we came home from our long, wonderful trip, it was time to get back to everyday life. Jimmy started Kindergarten not too long after our return. He was too excited to go to pose nicely for the obligatory first day picture, but you get the idea!

While you may have noticed I had given up a ways back on the 52 weeks theme, I promise I will catch up and post about the rest of the year before the year is over! (I know what I am doing tomorrow...)
Coming up, Halloween, Homecoming and Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Marvelous Mainland Vacation - Last Day (part 2)

After our train extravaganza we headed just south of Cheyenne to the Terry Bison Ranch. After lunch we meandered our way down to the gift shop / ticket desk to get our tour tickets.

That's the biggest Jackalope I've ever seen!
Of course the tour is done by train.  The boys wanted to know what the cages on the last two cars were for. I told them that is where the bad boys have to ride.  We found out later they are used to move the animals around and the miniature horses just like to ride for fun.

Miniature horses and foals to pet...
Llama llama no pajamas.
Baby alpaca... so cute!
Our train trip took us around the ranch by the different animals and through two states.
Actually there was only about a 100 yard loop of track that dipped below the state line, but it was a fun touch all the same.
Into the bison herd we went, range cake in hand.  Can you spot the beefalo in this picture?

This was the big male of the herd, Harvey.  Harvey liked to rub up on the side of the train.
A lot.

There was also a month old calf in with the herd we were lucky enough to see.

This was their Sunday brunch train.

This was the last stop before heading back to Grandma Sue's house and the airport early in the morning. By this time the next day we were home.  We had a truly fantastic trip to the mainland and made many wonderful memories!

Marvelous Mainland Vacation - Last day! (part 1)

All I can say about these pictures is that this was my train boys' version of heaven.   Mama was able to get us into the Union Pacific Steam shop for a private tour.  We had a blast!  So many trains! and cabooses! and coaches! and the turn table! Mama! Mama! Mama!   These pictures are not in order.

This was the snow blower train which made such an impression on Jimmy it is one of his favorite things to draw now... and our very kind and patient tour guide.
The stars of the show we were most excited to see, the 3985 "challenger"
and the 844 "Big Boy" the two remaining (?) steam locomotives of their size still in operation.
Another engine under restoration...
This was the most still Jimmy would stay for a picture right now, sitting in the cab of the 844.

Headed over to the round house this coach parked out side caught our eye.

And then the snowblower was the center of fascination.

You can just make out the outside curve of what is left of the roundhouse.

Trucks way bigger than the ones in our yard!
And the turntable!
Jimmy was tickled they had a green caboose.

We also stopped to see the Merci Car for Wyoming. This was more interesting for Mama since she talks about it on her train rides. It was nice to see a restored one.
Up next... Part 2 - Bison!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Marvelous Mainland Vacation! "Mama! It's a REAL COWBOY!"

We were nearing the end of the trip! Time to take a journey out into the Highwood Mountains and visit the ranch.
I tried to get a shot of all three generations of James but the youngest one did not cooperate. I did catch the youngest and the oldest, however.

Joey's always ready to cooperate for the camera!

Looking out into the field behind the barn. A beautiful setting for a beautiful wedding!

Of course the boy found the only train within 100 yards! A mysterious boxcar out under the trees... 

The ranch is so beautiful this time of year, it is hard to stop taking pictures of it.  Also having lots of great childhood memories out here doesn't hurt, either!

Grandpa Jim showed the kids around, and had them all try out his old saddle.

We couldn't convince him to show us how it was done, however...

The horses were very curious about the day's events. 

They were also very pleased with the many small hands offering tender greens, as well!

Up Next... the Grand Finale!