Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Frontierland Wednesday

I hope you are all recovering nicely from your Christmas festivities! Meanwhile, why not take a look at these vintage images of Frontierland?

I'm guessing that this was taken on an overcast winter day, obviously this is an early (undated) photo. Look at the bare hills and scraggly plant growth. Nothing has had much time to grow and mature. I don't know why I never considered it before, but does the pilot of the Mark Twain steer at all? The thing is on a rail, maybe the pilot only has to go forward or backward. Or does the riverboat steer a bit, like the Autopia cars do on their rails? Either way, I'm sure it takes a lot of skill to stop that large craft exactly where you want it.

Here's Cascade Peak, in a photo that was taken from the Twain, as you can tell by the bit of ornate woodwork in the upper right. I don't know what to say about this peak that I haven't already said in the past, but...I miss it.

The world has turned blue in this January 1962 shot of the Friendly Indian Village. I like the way the glowing fires add a touch of magic to this view. Do those still burn at night, or have they been extinguished like the Settler's Cabin? The kid on the canoe should have a buffalo hide blanket to keep him warm.


Anonymous said...

Happy Holidays. As a former MT river pilot, I'll let you in on the "secret". It's totally on a rail. The wheel is for show. The pilot's main purpose is to be the eyes of the boat for the boiler tender mechanic operating the power to the wheel (on the main floor). Back in my day (mid-70's), we communicated with the mechanic via the whistle using particular codes that I don't recall. But we could make a power stop if the rafts didn't clear the area sufficiently (rarely happened because they had warning with the whistle before departure). She'd really be huffing and puffing when that happened. I assume communication these days is now by via radio and the whistle is restricted to show purposes.

Major Pepperidge said...

Anonymous, thank you for the inside scoop, it's very interesting!