Monday, October 20, 2014

Random Pix, August 1969

Here are some more of those August '69 photos; I have analyzed them with my atomic Pictometer, and they fall dangerously close to the "meh" category. Fortunately I am wearing proper lead-lined clothing and safety goggles.

Cascade Peak looks pretty in the late-afternoon sunshine; the river feels so empty and still - not a canoe, keelboat, or sternwheeler to be found. If this was a real river, I'd want to go for a swim! But then I remember that the water is Disneyland water, and who knows what's in it.

Look at how close those Mine Train tracks get to the lower falls. We need to install a railing, or better yet, replace the waterfalls with high-definition video projections (don't forget to add Nemo). Nobody will know the difference. (My atomic Snarkometer is in the red zone!).

Nature's Wonderland had its beauty, but it had its danger too. Like this marmot! Sure, he looks like the cuddly gopher from "Caddyshack", but don't let that fool you. With his shape-shifting abilities, powerful talons, poisonous fangs, and prehensile tail, he is basically a killing machine. If he was in the water, a great white shark would swim in the opposite direction.

Meanwhile, over at the Enchanted Tiki Room's outer pre-show area, we get an odd closeup of Tangaroa, the "Father of all Gods and Goddesses. Here in this land of enchantment, I appear before you as a mighty tree. Stand back! Oh mystic powers, hear my call. From my limbs, let new life fall!". I always love it when the little baby tikis emerge - and always want to pluck one and put it in my pocket. I'd take him home and feed him raisins and Slim Jims and Gatorade, and teach him tricks, and we would be best pals (since those Sea Monkeys turned out to be such a dud).


K. Martinez said...

I wonder how much maintenance was required for the Mine Train tracks that ran along the waterfalls of Cascade Peak. I'm sure there was a lot of spray from the falls that would cause wood rot. There must've been some sort of water proofing of this portion of track. Thanks, Major.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Any shots of Cascade Peak and the long lost Mine Train are a welcome site on a Monday morning.

I miss them both and kudos for the uniquie shot of the swanky Chateau marmot.

Now I think I'll have a Dole Whip for breakfast, Tangaroa style.

Tom said...

It was probably the Disneyland water what made that marmot into a mutant in the first place.

Great pics today! They may lack some punch, but their serenity and unusual angle-hood lend them their own brand of greatness.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, water and wood don't get along very well (not for long, anyway) without some regular maintenance, so I would imagine that they had to work on that area a LOT.

Alonzo, I had no idea that that was THE Chateau marmot! Somehow I would have expected him to have top hat, or at least a bowler.

Tom, Disney doesn't want you to know the REAL reason that Nature's Wonderland was removed… it was those mutant marmots! Once they had a taste for human blood, it was a problem that had to be dealt with.

Melissa said...

That's some flare emanating from the cabin on the left. Nuclear experiments or religious phenomena?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the Mine Train required a fair amount of maintenance. The RR ties and trestles were heavily treated to resist rot. BTW... the operator had the ability to apply sand beneath the drive wheels if the tracks were sufficiently wet or frosty (icy) making traction difficult.

KS...former train operator....

K. Martinez said...

Cool info. Especially about the sand application beneath the drive wheels. Thanks for sharing, KS!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I'm going to go with paranormal activity (not the movie), it is clearly a spirit manifesting itself on film.

KS, it's super cool hearing from an actual Mine Train operator, thanks a lot!

K. Martinez, I have heard of trains having a "sand dome", I wonder if that is where the sand came from on the Mine Train?

Chuck said...

I was going to ask KS the same question - was the sand actually kept in the locomotives' sand domes or, since there was no firebox, boiler or smokebox on those battery-powered engines, was it actually somewhere else on board?

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, now that I think about it, I could swear that I have read that, even on the Disneyland RR, the engineer (or somebody) has to get out and manually sprinkle sand on the tracks when necessary. Maybe I'm mistaken, since I was under the impression that those little locomotives had sand domes that worked.

Nanook said...


On at least one occasion while riding the Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland, the steel drive wheels were slipping on the tracks attempting to gain traction, which was not to be had. (At that time, at least) there didn't appear to be any application of sand - unless it took place out of sight of the Guests. Eventually we did get going, but have no idea if the wheels eventually got enough grip, or our train received a "boost" from a train to our rear.

Of course, it didn't matter if we were stationary. Just being anywhere on that attraction was joy in itself-!

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Normal sand dome operation has the engineer toggling a lever or switch that opens a valve on the sand lines, which allows sand to fall via gravity from the sand dome (usually mounted on the boiler directly in front of the cab) through a tube and onto the tracks in front of the drive wheels, providing additional traction when needed. Sprinkling sand in front of the drive wheels by hand would be labor-intensive and not very efficient, requiring the crew to stop the train and exit the cab.

I'm certain they use traditional, dome-based sand application on the WDWRR (I took the backstage RR tour) and would assume the same on the DLRR. Even the Chance Rides C.P. Huntington locomotives - the little 2-foot gauge ones you see in zoos and small amusement parks all over the country - have working sand domes, so I would be very surprised to find something different on the DLRR.

But still no answer on the NWRR. :-(

Steve DeGaetano - are you lurking out there with the answer?

Anonymous said...

I believe that since the drive wheels were beneath the operator (being part of the tender and not the locomotive itself), that is where the sand was located. We just pressed a button beneath the seat to make the sand drop onto the tracks. Very rarely would this be needed and generally it was the result of frost on the incline portions of the track.

Chuck said...

Thanks, KS!