Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mine Train, August 1961

I never seem to grow tired of photos featuring the Mine Train and the little town of Rainbow Ridge. Maybe it's due to the level of detail (there's lots to look at!), or the sheer charm of it - wouldn't you want to live there? I don't know. But I do know that I love the little yellow mine train; it looks like some lucky kid has been allowed to sit in the cab!    Jealous

Up above, we can see a team of pack mules passing by... somehow I never realized that they passed in front of at a few buildings, even way back there. The scale is kind thrown off a little bit, but who cares. 

I know we've seen plenty of pictures of the geysers and bubbling, colorful mud pots in the "Living Desert", but this one seems especially nice to me. The composition is pleasing, and I like the slightly subdued colors; it's as if we are looking at a photo that is 54 years old!


Nanook said...


Once again we are allowed to wallow in the wonderfulness that is Rainbow Ridge. And, Major, on more than one occasion I was one of the 'featured players' who was sitting up front "in the cab" enjoying all the sights and sounds the MT had to offer.

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, do you remember whether you had to ask to sit in the cab, or if it was just offered to you because you were a kid? I'm sure it was not roomy, so the privilege was probably only offered to the younger crowd.

K. Martinez said...

Major, Don't you know that just like trees, Pack Mules have no scale.

And if it makes you any feel better, I've never sat up front in the cab of the Mine Train, never got inside the Mark Twain's wheelhouse to ring the bell or toot the whistle, never sat in the front cab of the Monorail or rode the Lilly Belle. And to top it all off, I've never been to Club 33. But none of that matters because what I really want is a trip to the top of the Matterhorn for some incredibly awesome views of The Happiest Place on Earth.

Anonymous said...

Major, during my time it was normal to be asked to sit in the cab. Since it was cramped for more than two, that was SOP. We had to control that area. You could fit an adult and child in or a couple teenagers. Operator discretion.

Nanook said...


Anonymous answered your question, as I surely don't remember.

Patrick Devlin said...

Interesting, KS. I remember asking to sit up in the cab at NWRR. Of course, that was a long time ago.

Great shot there, Major, of the mule train wrecking the perspective of the small buildings. I can remember the clinking of tack and such as they wound their way down through the trees towards the loading area.

Anonymous said...

Rainbow Ridge was so appealing, partly because it was too small to be real. I remember being a little confused by that as a kid. Since it was small, and I was small, why couldn't I go in?

I remember riding some mules, but it must have been at Knotts. This Disney ride would have been a lot of fun, to be in amongst the scenes on muleback. Pretty sure I would remember that.

The mule ride I remember was sort of a quasi-public non-themed ride, more about riding the little beasts than seeing any kind of prepared tableaux.

Didn't the Knotts Mules ride through a "backstage" area and along the parking lot?

Somebody out there must remember.


Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, ha ha, now I used to feel like I needed to do ALL of those things! Now I’m not so sure. I would still like to be in the Mark Twain wheelhouse and sit in the front of the Monorail. Oh, and I can only imagine what the view must be like at the top of the Matterhorn.

KS, thank you for answering my question!

Nanook, oh man, I would think that you would remember if the old miner pointed at you and said, “Kid! Want to ride up here with me?!”.

Patrick Devlin, oh I wish I had a vivid memory of the pack mules; that was yet another attraction that we never bothered with while it was there.

JG, they did have mules at Knott’s too (as you probably know). I never did those either! And your description seems to match what I’ve seen of the Knott’s version; you were just led through various parts of the park, not a specific themed environment.

TokyoMagic! said...

JG, I've seen pics of the mules/burros at Knott's passing through Calico Square. I don't know if they ever really did that or if that was only for publicity photos. I rode the burros at Knott's when the Gypsy Camp was there and at that time, they went down a path behind the Mine Ride and turned around and came back. For the life of me though, I can't remember what was back there scenery wise . My dad did not ride with us, but he took pics of my brother and I just after leaving, and just before returning to the loading area and you can just see a very tall wooden fence alongside the path. Now I'm wondering if the entire path was fenced in.

TokyoMagic! said...

JG (again), of course after the Roaring 20's was built, Knott's moved the Burro attraction over to the Lagoon area and they followed a path through Bud Hurlbut's dry excavated waterway that had originally been prepared for a Jungle Cruise type of boat ride that never materialized. I have much better memories of riding the Burros over at the Lagoon.

Anonymous said...

@Tokyo, the first route you describe corresponds to what I remember, fences, out-and-back and the non-themed backs of buildings, so that was probably the Mine Train or maybe the Log Flume.

I think the Gypsy Camp was built after our visits stopped, at least I don't recall it at all, and I know Roaring 20's was well after my era.

Even my last visit with my little kids was over 20 years ago, so this is all really fuzzy.

Thanks for your help, I appreciate it.