Sunday, April 20, 2014

Train & Twain, October 3, 1956

I am trying to figure out exactly where the Mark Twain was in this first photo. Is it more along the western edge of the park, or the northern edge? I want you all to look at the man who is carelessly sitting on the railing. Sure, he looks cool, but wait until the Mark Twain has to slam on its brakes to avoid an out-of-control keelboat. He'll be sorry!

Aaaaaand just because I have to use it someday… here's the Twain as it returns home. Someday Cascade Peak will be right about where that Stagecoach is, but for now it is just hills and pine trees. 


hamjenkinsIII said...

There was two different trains back then right? One specifically with those passenger cars. Curiosity peaked.

Super interesting viewpoint for sure tho thanks

Nancy said...

There are those skimpy pine trees that I like again. Trains....just cant get enough of them!! :-) I would definitely have gotten off the ship and headed right for the station!

Chuck said...

Major - I'm pretty sure the first photo was taken in the NW corner of the Park. Punch in "33.813862,-117.922132" in Google Maps for my guess.

This is all heavily "forested" today. I used to fantasize about dropping off the back of the train in this area at night in dark clothing with a small backpack of food and camo gear, running up over the top of the ridge or climbing a tree and holing up for a few days. I figured I'd extract by crossing the tracks over by the north end of the Hungry Bear about 10 minutes before closing and then duck into the restrooms to change and freshen up a bit.

I STRONGLY discourage any reader from trying this. Jumping off a moving train is a great way to break yourself in multiple places. Conductors are almost always on the back of the train and would immediately note your exit. I would be very surprised if there aren't motion sensors and security cameras in the area to catch nutcases trying something like this. Being caught in this activity would almost certainly result in trespass charges and permanent banishment from the Park - after you got out of the hospital.

But it's still fun to imagine doing it... :-)

MRaymond said...

@Chuck. When I was younger I thought the same thing. There was plenty of open land in the NW corner of the park. Thunder Ranch wasn't built yet. Take a canoe around the river after hours, etc. Stupid kid fantasy's but I had forgotten about it till I read your post. No place to hide back there today.

Tom said...

I'm with Chuck on the guess. I'm pretty sure that little notch there became Fowler's Harbor. If we could just turn the camera around to the left about 90 degrees we could catch a glimpse of the Plantation House.

Another great unusual angle, coupled with some major pre-lawsuit-days risk taking!

K. Martinez said...

The first pic was taken after passing what was the Indian Village or Critter Country today. Nearly across, on the opposite shore would be Fort Wilderness (out of view). So the NW corner is correct.

@Tom - I think that little notch is at the northern end of The Hungry Bear Restaurant immediately after the outdoor dining deck. It definitely didn't become Fowler's Harbor. I've seen old photos of maintenance boats docked there and have actually seen them docked there in person when riding the Mark Twain.

Major Pepperidge said...

hamjenkinsIII, yes, there were two trains. What we are seeing is the E.P. Ripley pulling the passenger cars. You could have also seen the C.K. Holliday pulling the freight cars.

Nancy, you and your skimpy pine trees! ;-)

Chuck, wow, leave it to a military man to provide exact longitude and latitude! I think I agree with your assessment. I don't know if I ever wanted to jump off the train, but I definitely had fantasies about hiding somewhere (there seemed to be a LOT of places to hide). And I am sure there must be plenty of hidden security cameras. Motion sensors too.

MRaymond, I never thought it through to the point of needing food and water (or a change of clothes), but I'm sure many kids dreamed of being able to explore Disneyland after closing.

Tom, I thought Fowler's Harbor was there on opening day. In fact, I'm pretty sure it was. That notch must be some other place for motorboats to temporarily land, very much like the ones that you see in old photos of Tom Sawyer Island. Perhaps it was for landscape crews and other maintenance.

K Martinez, I should have read your comment before I replied to Tom! I agree, the Hungry Bear is just about the right location.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

My poor six year old sounds like Elmer Fudd. From him it's Twain & Twain. Great pictures. Happy Easter GDBr's

Tom said...

Heading to the optometrist. Closer examination of old aerial pictures clues me in to the truth about the notch. Thanks, historians!