A Portland area non-profit group called Friends of the 4449, volunteer to help set up and offer excursions from time to time, as well as, keeping her in fine condition. My father in law and his gal volunteer with the group, so it's through them we've become introduced to this beautiful machine.
|This photo I took in 2008, you can hardly tell year to year as our weather in early December is about the same. If you look closely enough, you'll see a little blond boy at nearly 3, that is our one and only 'Brother Bear'.|
|December 2011, Holiday Express Train|
Our kids now nearly 6 and 4 get so excited to take a ride on this train. Experiencing their joy and excitement is intoxicating as I can't help but crack a wide smile as the horn on the steam engine blows.
|Brother Bear so happy to be on the Holiday Express Train|
|Little Sis learned about waving to the crowd this year|
Prior to my father-in-law's introduction, I'd never given any thought to these massive steam engines. But, his enthusiasm has won me over and I'll admit that it's impressive how powerful and beautifully crafted these old machines are.
The folks involved with the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation work hard to keep these trains running and to preserve the moment in time where these giants were in their glory. Steam engines like this are rare as so many of them were scraped for their metal.
If you're ever in Portland, Oregon for the holidays, consider taking a ride on the Holiday Express. It's become a holiday tradition in our family.