Sunday, July 24, 2005

A Weekend O' Big Vehicles

by Tom Bozzo

We got to test John's love of vehicles this weekend, missing only a waterborne component — though we did see the burned-out hull of a boat that caught fire in front of the UW Memorial Union tied up near the Tenney Locks.

The Wisconsin and Southern Railroad had an open house at its East Side railyard, with the big draw of train rides to some point between Westport and the "only Waunakee in the world." Like Transport 2020, only in 2005. We mostly dodged the rain for an early afternoon ride, and amazingly were not really punished when John subsequently skipped his afternoon nap!

The locomotive, an EMD E9. Author and son for scale.

Getting ready to board the ex-Metra double-decker car.

All of us on the train. Hi!

Trainspotters were visible at several points along the route, and one of them got a good picture of the train in action here (warning, possible pop-ups).

But that's not all! This week is the EAA AirVenture fly-in (John, Uncle Jim, and I plan to go, via ground transportation, on Wednesday) and some unusual planes were starting to showing up at the Wisconsin Aviation terminal en route to Oshkosh as we were having brunch at the Jet Room. This B-17 was the most attention-getting of the transients.

Back from a ride, taxiing past the GA parking.

The office, upgraded with a modern radio and GPS. John wouldn't tour the plane, which was probably all for the best — there is less room in the forward fuselage than you'd suppose.

The original avionics.

Peeking out from amidships.

John beats the heat under a wing.

Yellow tail and blue sky.


Addendum: Darn, we missed the afternoon arrival of the Rutan White Knight/SpaceShipOne combo, which stayed overnight in Madison en route to Oshkosh. Well... naptime is sacred. We'll catch it on Weds., though.
Wow! That is WAY better than a day out with plain old ordinary Thomas!
Since you mention it, we went with some friends whose two boys (5 and 3) have a ton of Thomas/Brio wooden trains, and John may have been a little disappointed at the outset that we were going to go see the real thing.
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