Thursday, January 24, 2019

Mine Train, October 1963

For some reason, many of the images in this batch from 1963 have a sooty, gray appearance. Not sure why that would be - even if it was overcast the color shouldn't be so yucko. But we must persevere onward! 

Certain colors seem to cut through the gray as if they possess some radioactivity. The pink on Pat Casey's Last Chance Saloon, or even the yellow of the Mine Train cars. Gramps looks at the camera in disbelief. "Why I've never seen such a pink, even when I was in France in 1916!". Thank you for your service, Gramps.

Even after all this time, I still get a kick out of the familiar old buildings; the Rainbow Ridge Clarion, the General Store, and the El Dorado Hotel. 

The colored mud pots of the Rainbow Desert could use a vitamin B shot; they're lookin' mighty poozly. It almost looks like a colorized black and white photo, don't you think?


Nanook said...

Yes, the images do almost look "hand tinted". Clearly, something is a-miss. (But it's still Rainbow Ridge, damnit-!)

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, compare today's pic of the geysers to the one you posted three days ago (on Monday). The basins around the geysers look all cracked and peeling here. I wonder if they had not yet had a refurbishment by 1963? Or maybe they had, but they got that way very quickly from the constant moisture?

It's sad to think that that rock arch and butte were saved and remained in that spot for almost 40 years after the attraction was bulldozed, only to be destroyed recently for Ewok Alley. You'd think they could have painted them a nice ugly gray color and said that they were "space rocks."

JC Shannon said...

The quality of the photos may be compromised, but I still wanna live on the house on the hill. I could have taken care of all the maintenance issues in the town in exchange for a place to live and unlimited Mine Train rides. I could swim with the bears and shower in one of the geysers. I would have breakfast every day at Aunt Jemima's and dinner at Casa De Fritos. What more could a growing boy need? Well, I'm off to feed the Pack Mules. Thanks Major for today's winning snaps.

Melissa said...

Rainbow Ridge always makes me think of Rock Ridge from Blazing Saddles.

I used to have an embellished straw purse like the lady in the first picture. I loved it, but unfortunately so did the cat.

Stu29573 said...

I like how my 1968 guide map shows the different areas of Rainbow Ridge and identifies them by name, but I don't like how the pictured track layout makes no sense at all. I guess that maintained some sense of mystery to the ride, but it makes remembering it a lot tougher!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I truly wonder what happened that made these slides look so odd. Did they go through an X-ray machine at the airport? Probably not in 1963, I suppose.

TokyoMagic!, the geysers were only 3 years old in 1963, but you are right, they look like hell! Very cracked and peeling, and dirty too. Perhaps you’re right, maybe the constant exposure to water took its toll very quickly. It is a bummer that those last surviving rock formations were torn down, too bad they couldn’t have been incorporated into Star Wars Land somehow. Your comment about space rocks makes me imagine a mine train ride, only it’s on the moon. Could be cool, if it was done in the right way! Moon monsters, glowing crystals, crashed spaceships… by golly they should do it.

Jonathan, ha ha, I want to do all those things too! I would mix it up once in a while and have pancakes at Aunt Jemima’s for dinner, and Mexican food for breakfast. I also imagine all of the pack mules coming to me when I arrive, because they all know that I’m their pal. Who needs heaven?

Melissa, yes it does! BTW, I got to see Blazing Saddles a year or so ago, and afterwards Mel Brooks came out and talked to the audience. Carl Reiner was in the audience too, we sang “Happy Birthday” to him. It was awesome!

Melissa said...

"Your comment about space rocks makes me imagine a mine train ride, only it’s on the moon."

They had something like that on an episode of Futurama. The theme song went, "We're whalers from the Moon, we carry a harpoon, but there ain't no whales, so we tell tall tales and sing a whalin' tune."

Totally jealous of your singing to Carl Reiner!

Anonymous said...

As a former MT operator, I'm always on the lookout to identify the CMs in the pictures. Unfortunately no luck today. KS

Alonzo P Hawk said...

It's funny but when I drink Bourbon the next day I often have a sooty gray appearance.

When I see the geysers I always think of the movie "40 pounds of trouble" where Tony Curtis is trying to drink out of them. Yuk.

All in all I would take a gloomy Rainbow Ridge over being smashed into tiny little sheriff meatballs(by Mongo)anytime.

Anonymous said...

Alas, Jonathan, we along with Mongo, are only pawns in the Game of Life, and so cannot be caretakers of Rainbow Ridge.

I have also wanted to live in that little cabin, but I fear I would be like Alice in the Wonderland cottage and my arms would stick out the windows and my feet out the door when I slept. It wouldn't matter though because I lived in Disneyland.

Here's a bourbon toast to more sooty gray pictures.

That's a great story about Blazing Saddles, my brush with greatness consisted of working on a house down the street from Mel Brooks' home.

Thanks Major.


Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I have almost certainly seen that episode of “Futurama”, though I don’t remember a thing about it. Maybe it’s in my brain… somewhere. When I was thinking of lunar mine train ride, I was sort of thinking of the Futurama attraction at the 1964 World’s Fair, strangely enough!

KS, I just scanned a photo of a redshirt ambling past a photographer, maybe you’ll recognize him when it is posted.

Alonzo, this is why you should only drink tequila. I’ve seen clips (on YouTube) of “40 Pounds of Trouble”, and the slapstick is pretty weak. I’ve heard that it’s actually an OK movie, but if those scenes weren’t filmed in Disneyland, it would probably be totally forgotten today.

JG, unfortunately those building in Rainbow Ridge are all pretty tiny, even the largest of them would be like a child’s bedroom at best. In my imagination I would shrink down so that I would be at just the right scale! I don’t know if you remember the blog, “Vintage Disneyland Goodies”, but that blogger was at the same viewing of “Blazing Saddles”, only he got to go backstage and meet Mel Brooks!

Chuck said...

Major, the episode of Futurama Melissa is talking about was the second one. The gang has to make a delivery on the Moon and take a side trip to Luna Park. Lots of references to Disneyland and even one to Georges Méliès. I only saw it once, but it made a big impression. About half of the time I see your avatar, I actually think of that episode rather than Le Voyage dans la Lune.

The moment I learned they had torn down those last rock formations rather than making the effort to work them into the new alien landscape was one of those life-changing experiences, where nothing is ever the same again afterwards. It was the moment that Disneyland finally broke my heart.

Stu, I'm looking at the '68 guidebook, and you're right - the map makes no sense at all. It looks like the train goes into a tunnel and comes out again through the Fantasyland Skyway chalet!

A much more accurate version was done by Chris Merritt back in the '90s that was eventually published in a 1998 issue of The "E" Ticket magazine (incidentally, the first issue that I bought). Chris shared a digital version of it on the Good Major's blog back in 2009.

Major Pepperidge said...

Stuart Powley, sorry for missing your comment earlier! When you say “1968 Guide Map”, you mean the one in a souvenir guidebook? Or a gate handout? My guidebooks are not handy, but once you really look at them, you can see that they took a lot of artistic license.

Chuck, well then I have definitely seen that episode… I used to have the 4 season DVD set, but I loaned it to somebody and never got it back. I loved that show during its original run. It came back after a hiatus of some kind and never quite regained its mojo, though it was still pretty good. I’ve had many “broken heart moments” with Disneyland, and used to get over them, but now it just feels SO different. And that map drawn by Chris Merritt is one of my favorite things ever.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck and Major, I used to have "broken heart" moments like that too, but at some point I was able to move on and go back to the park and still enjoy it. For me, the damage they have done within the last few years is the straw that broke the camel's back......the point of no return......The End. There is no getting over any of it, at this point. I am pretty much done with Disneyland. I haven't been for over two years now, and I have never gone that long without a visit, in my entire lifetime. I would much rather visit the park the way that it used to be, here on GDB, everyday with my friends!


I actually don’t think the geysers are cracked and just appears dirt and sediment has gotten into the sculpted grooves and crannies of the gunite stucco used for rock work and “natural formations” during that time. A high pressure wash would probably UN-highlight those dirt deposits and remove the illusion of cracks.


Also remember those geyser funnels are suppose to be made up from hundreds of years of mineral layer build up- you can see that imagineers have sculpted those signs of ages of mineral build up— I think some of those authentically added details are appearing as cracks but are authentically suppose to be present. We are used to seeing color saturated vintage prints and slides and the color saturation of these sometimes doesn’t reveal small details and be one blended out.

Dean Finder said...

I was thinking of the Futurama Luna Park as well.
As the walk down "Main Street," there's even a Club 33-you see the 33 number plate on the building behind the moon man mascot just as Bender jams a bottle in his eye (also referencing Méliès' Voyage dans la Lune)

stu29573 said...

I mean the big foldout one. I have it on my wall in my office!

Chuck said...

Dean Finder, wasn't the Moon man mascot named "Crater Face?"

Dean Finder said...

Chuck is correct:

Melissa said...

"He was just using space travel as a metaphor for beating his wife!"