Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Night Steam

H/T to Terry!

All aboard the frightfully spooky Ghost Train at Tweetsie Railroad's theme park

(Too bad this is so far away - would love to take a ride!)

Tweetsie Railroad
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  (Redirected from Tweetsy Railroad)
Tweetsie Railroad Trrlogo.JPG
Location     Blowing Rock, North Carolina, U.S.
Coordinates     36.170930°N 81.649029°WCoordinates: 36.170930°N 81.649029°W
Owner     Tweetsie Railroad, Inc.
Opened     July 4, 1957
Operating season     April - November
Area     200 acres (0.81 km2), 30 acres (120,000 m2) developed
Total     16
Tweetsie Railroad is a family oriented railroad and Wild West theme park located between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina, United States. In addition to a 3-mile (4.8 km) ride aboard an authentic steam locomotive, the park features amusement rides and other attractions geared towards families with children.

Park history

Opened in 1957, Tweetsie Railroad began as an excursion train ride aboard steam locomotive #12, the only surviving narrow gauge engine of the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC). Built in 1917 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, #12 is a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge 4-6-0 coal-fired locomotive that was used to haul passengers and freight over the ET&WNC's 66-mile (106.2 km) line running from Johnson City over the Appalachian Mountains to Boone, North Carolina.

After the 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge portion of the ET&WNC ceased operations in 1950, the locomotive was purchased by a group of railroad enthusiasts and was taken to Rockingham County, Virginia to operate as the small "Shenandoah Central” tourist line in 1952. Floodwaters from Hurricane Hazel washed out the Shenandoah Central in 1954, and Locomotive #12 was once again put up for sale. Hollywood actor Gene Autry optioned the locomotive with the intent to move it to California for use in motion pictures.

Instead, Grover Robbins, an entrepreneur from Blowing Rock, North Carolina, purchased Autry's option and bought the locomotive in 1956. Robbins moved the #12 locomotive back to its native Blue Ridge Mountains as the centerpiece of a new “Tweetsie Railroad“ tourist attraction. A 3-mile (4.8 km) loop of track was constructed near Blowing Rock, North Carolina for the train to run on, and on July 4, 1957, the locomotive made its first public trip over the line.

Tweetsie Railroad became a popular tourist attraction, and evolved into one of the nation's first theme parks. A western town and saloon were built around the original depot area. A train robbery and Indian attack show were added to the train ride, playing off the Wild West theme that was very popular at the time on television and movies. The theme was enhanced by regular visits from WBTV television personality/singing cowboy Fred Kirby, who hosted a popular children’s show. In 1962, a chairlift and amusement ride area was constructed on the central mountain inside the rail loop, and over the decades the park has been expanded with additional rides, attractions, shops, zoo, and restaurants.
One of Tweetsie Railroad’s two steam locomotives, 2-8-2 #190, on May 20th, 2007.

The Tweetsie Railroad theme park is open from mid-April through October of each year. It hosts numerous special events each season, including a very popular nighttime "Ghost Train Halloween Festival" in October. In addition to the Wild West train adventure and the amusement rides, Tweetsie Railroad has a variety of live entertainment shows featuring talented performers selected from the immediate area and from the Southeast.

Tweetsie acquired another coal-fired steam locomotive, USATC S118 Class 2-8-2 #190, the “Yukon Queen” from Alaska’s White Pass and Yukon Route in 1960. Built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1943 for the US Army, the engine was part of an 11-locomotive fleet of “MacArthur” 2-8-2s originally purchased for use overseas. During World War II, the locomotives were sent to Alaska for use on the White Pass and Yukon.

In 1961, Grover Robbins built another train ride and tourist attraction called "Rebel Railroad" in the Smoky Mountains near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Renamed "Goldrush Junction" in 1966 it was operated by Robbins until his death in 1970. In 1976, Jack and Pete Herschend of Branson, Missouri bought the Pigeon Forge facility and redeveloped it as "Silver Dollar City". In 1986, country music star Dolly Parton became a part owner with the Herschends, and the theme park was renamed Dollywood to reflect her involvement.

The name "Tweetsie" was given to the original East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad by area residents who became accustomed to the shrill "tweet, tweet" of the train whistles that echoed through the mountains. The nickname stuck with the train and became more identifiable than the railroad's original name. Bachmann Industries has produced several sizes of scale models of locomotive #12 and its accompanying rolling stock, both with the original ET&WNC markings and the newer Tweetsie Railroad markings.
Historic designations

    National Register of Historic Places #NPS–92000147 — East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad Locomotive No. 12.[1]

General information

Tweetsie Railroad's operating season is from mid-April to the first weekend in November. The park is open weekends in the spring and autumn, and daily from the weekend after Memorial Day weekend until Mid August. In addition, the park is open on Friday and Saturday nights in Late September/October/Early November for the “Ghost Train Halloween Festival". Special events are held throughout the season, including Railroad Heritage Weekend in September, that focuses on the history of the narrow gauge locomotives, and a firework display on the Independence DayFourth of July.

Tweetsie is located on US 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina.
Rides and attractions

Rides at Tweetsie Railroad include:

    Drop Tower ride
    Round Up
    "Tornado" spinning ride
    Ferris wheel
    "Tweetsie Twister" ride
    "Turnpike Cruiser" ride
    The Mouse Mine (child-oriented loop-track train ride through a tunnel with an animatronic show)
    Several small children's rides

Other attractions at Tweetsie Railroad include the Tweetsie Palace Saloon and show, other live shows, gold panning and gem mining, Deer Park zoo, a variety of specialty shops and dining facilities, and an arcade.

Today's funny :0)

Happy Halloween to all!

These Dogs Aren't Too Into Halloween

Shades of Alfred Hitchcock

Yesterday morning was one of the foggiest days I have ever seen up here.

When I went out on the deck to take some pictures, I heard this:

Those are birds - not leaves!!!!

It was an amazing sight to see and hear - there must have been hundred and hundreds of grackles!
An hour later, the sun came out and they were all gone and there was silence!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Horror Movie Night!

If you're an old timer like me, you just love these movies. In the early 50's they would run these every Halloween. Anyone from the NY area remember this famous TV ghoul???:

Grab a big bowl of popcorn, sit back and enjoy a classic Bela Lugosi horror
 movie this All Hallows' Eve!

                                              (YouTube: Bela Lugosi-The Invisible Ghost )


Today's funny :o)

Now you know!

Hurry up, Chickenmom!

Yesterday was cool and cloudy and the weatherman promised rain for the afternoon, so I figured I'd better get the coop clean. It's no fun shoveling poop in the rain and mud!

I let everyone out into the yard:

But Laverne kept running in and out of the coop while I was trying to clean it. Every time I would put the rake in, she would jump on it. Finally, I scooted her away and finished up.

When that was done, I walked back to the house and saw this:

Poor Laverne - she couldn't hold it in any longer! She used a pile of leaves under the deck for a nest.

Good thing I saw it there - would have been shame to waste an egg!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Remember Roy?

H/T to loyal reader Donna for her E-mail on the sale of the Roy Rogers Museum! Her original E-mail won't  download to Blogger, but I found this regarding the sale:

Buttermilk: $25,000; Bullet: $35,000 Buttermilk: $25,000; Bullet: $35,000
Trigger Jr: $18,750 Trigger Jr: $18,750
Dale's parade saddle: $104,500 Dale’s parade saddle: $104,500
Kelly Bros Diamond Dick pattern spurs: $10,625 Kelly Bros Diamond Dick pattern spurs: $10,625American Eagle plastic saddle: $50,000 American Eagle plastic saddle: $50,000Nudie Taylor boots: $21,250 Nudie Taylor boots: $21,250
The auction included more than 300 iconic lots from Roy Rogers and Dale Evans – the King of the Cowboys and Queen of the West.
Most items sold for prices far in excess of their pre-auction estimates.
On the first day of the sale, Rogers’ mounted horse, Trigger, sold for $US266,500 and the Edward H. Bohlin parade saddle was sold to a British buyer for $US386,500.
Roy’s favorite, and most photographed plastic saddle, the American Eagle, fetched $50,000; a CF Martin acoustic guitar fetched $27,500; two wrought iron wall medallions expected to sell for $200-$300 fetched $11,250; a pair of rare Kelly Bros Diamond Dick pattern spurs overlaid with Navajo silver and mounted with turquoise fetched $10,625.
Among the many pairs of boots sold was a colourful pair attributed to Nudie Taylor which fetched $21,250, far in excess of their pre-auction estimate of $1000 to $2000. A blue gabardine lace-up top made by Nudie for Roy sold for $11,875. The shirt features a Native American theme with embroidered headdresses on the white leather fringe yoke, tomahawks on the sleeves and arrows on the collar and pearl buttoned fringed cuffs, a large embroidered headdress adorns the back, and is embellished with rhinestones throughout.
Another shirt of Roy’s, a brown wool lace-up top featuring a Trigger theme with embroidered horse heads on the suede fringed yoke and back, saddles on the sleeves and spurs on the pearl buttoned cuffs, embellished with rhinestones throughout, fetched $16,250.
The 1946 Willys CJ-2A Jeep known as Nellybelle and used on Roy and Dale’s TV show, fetched $116,500.
A framed photograph of Gene Autrey, with a message from the singing cowboy to Roy written in 1976, fetched $17,500. Its estimate was $300-$500.
Dale’s red and white plastic parade saddle, expected to bring $20,000 to $30,000, sold for $104,500. The saddle was displayed on Dale’s horse Buttermilk in the Branson Museum.
Buttermilk, who died at the age of 31, fetched $25,000, less than his pre-auction estimate of $30,000 to $40,000. Buttermilk was a young colt when he was rescued by a cattle farmer on his way to the slaughterhouse. The farmer bought him from a horse trader and he had been severely abused which resulted in a very unkind demeanor. The new owners quickly began to work with him, and through lots of dedication and care he eventually came around to become a friendly, affectionate and playful horse.
After renaming the bubbly Quarter Horse Soda, Randall introduced Soda to Dale Evans because her movie horse Koko was too much to handle and also resembled Trigger too much. Dale fell in love with Soda and bought him immediately. He was renamed Buttermilk after Dale saw a cloud pattern in the sky that reminded her of the Hoagy Carmichael’s song, “Ole Buttermilk Sky.” Dale rode Buttermilk in almost all of Roy’s movies and in all but six of The Roy Rogers Show television episodes that aired from 1951-57.
A true Quarter Horse, Buttermilk displayed bursts of speed and could outrun Trigger. On the set, Roy asked Dale to please hold Buttermilk back when riding alongside him, since Trigger always had to lead.
The horse Trigger Jr was expected to fetch $30,000 to $50,000 but realised $18,750. Trigger Jr. (1941-1969) was a purebred Tennessee Walking Horse named Allen’s Gold Zephyr who was bred by C. O. Barker of Readyville, Tennessee.
Paul K. Fisher of Souderton, Pennsylvania, who claimed to be the world’s largest breeder and dealer in yellow horses, sold Trigger Jr. to Roy Rogers in 1948 when he was still registered as Allen’s Gold Zephyr. Fisher often took his horses to the Madison Square Garden Rodeo to show or sell and Roy stated that it took him six years to buy Trigger Jr. – finally succeeding after Fisher was forced into a well publicized dispersal sale in 1947.
Trigger Jr. had beautiful conformation and a very stylish way of going. He was perfectly schooled and could accomplish a variety of difficult tricks including high stepping dances – always a crowd pleaser on Roy’s national tours and the perfect protege to Trigger.
Bullet was expected to fetch $10,000 to $15,000 but sold for $35,000. He was an AKA Registered German Shepherd originally given the name of “Bullet Von Berge”. He was billed as the ‘wonder dog’, and made his debut in the Roy Rogers film Spoiler’s of the Plains in 1951, produced by Republic Pictures. Bullet was a regular on The Roy Rogers Show on NBC television from 1951-1957 and CBS from 1961-64. In real life the German Shepherd that played Bullet had the same name, and was also the family’s pet.
“This highly anticipated event brought out thousands of Roy and Dale fans whose emotions and memories flooded our galleries,” said Cathy Elkies, Director of Iconic Collections at Christies.
“We were privileged to handle a collection that resonated so deeply with so many people.”
Linda Kohn and Joseph Sherwood of High Noon Western Americana added: “We were thrilled that the collection has found its way into homes of Roy and Dale fans around the world insuring that their legacy continues. The highlight of the week was the saleroom’s spontaneous round of “Happy Trails” sung at the conclusion of the auction.”
One of Roy and Dale’s nine children, Roy Rogers Jr, said the sale of the Roy Rogers Museum was the most difficult decision for our family to make.
“Dad acknowledged many years ago that if the museum ever became difficult to maintain after he died, then we should let it go. We thought we’d always be able to keep it open, but my dad, smart as he was, knew that some day his fans would get older and they would slowly become unable to travel to Missouri,” Rogers Jr said.
Nudie Taylor shirt: $11,875
Nudie Taylor shirt: $11,875Nellybelle: $116,500 Nellybelle: $116,500Lace-up shirt: $16,250 Lace-up shirt: $16,250
“With the economy the way it is, and visitor traffic slowing dramatically, the expenses of operating the museum eventually outweighed the profit. Without being able to break even, we simply couldn’t support it anymore,” he said.
He also spoke of the bond his father had with Trigger. “Dad and Trigger were both young when they started – Trigger was only four years old, and Dad was 26 – and on some level I think they both felt this was the start of something special. Over their years together, they established a bond of trust and mutual respect.
“When Trigger passed, my dad was so distraught he didn’t tell the family for over a year (we didn’t know, because he was kept in another stable off our ranch). I think to him it was like losing a child. He told my mom, ‘I can’t just put him in the ground.’
“He had Trigger beautifully mounted and installed in the museum. A lot of people were upset about that, but I think he made the right choice. Trigger was one of the most popular attractions at the museum,” Rogers Jr said.
So glad I grew up during that time! :o)

Today's funny :o)

Did you know.....

H/T to:
  (Please stop over for a visit!)

Amazing Chicken Facts

  • A mother hen talks to her chicks before they hatch. As soon as the chicks can hear and talk back they are having conversations through the shell! 
  • Chickens have complex conversations with one another. And of course everything a chicken says has a meaning. 
  • Chickens are one of the top 10 smartest animals. You can even train a chicken. 
  • Many people believe that when a rooster crows it means "Look at me!" 

  • A rooster crows all day, not just in the morning. They begin crowing in the morning and stop crowning in the late evening. 

  • Chickens can fly. They can not fly for long distances but can fly a good ways up. Bantams can fly higher than large fowls.

  • Chickens love to dust bathe
  • Chickens have amazing memories. They can remember over 100 different individuals. They have to remember every flock member and where they are in the pecking order!
  • Chickens are a lot smarter than young children, and though we don't know, they may be smarter than the average human.

  • Chickens are the closest living relative to dinosaurs.
  • Chickens have the ability to assume that an object still exists even if it has been hidden. Most children do not have this ability and develop it with age. 
  • Chickens have to memorize something called the pecking order. It is the order of who is allowed to peck who. It is part of their complex community aka a flock. 
And I sure can tell 'ya that roosters crow ALL DAY LONG!!!! And that's a FACT!!!!   :o)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Reasons why.....

                                                               ......women live longer than men:

H/T to: Offbeat

Today's funny :o)

H/T to:   Ruthe :o)

Rocket launch!!!!


 6:19 EDT

For the full story and charts, please go to: (you may have to copy and paste it into your browser)




Space enthusiasts living along the Eastern Seaboard will have front-row to the launch of the the Orbital Sciences Corp's Antares rocket.
The rocket will take off from Wallops Island, Virginia, at 6.45pm Eastern time.
The further away you are from the launch site in Virginia, the closer to the southern horizon the Antares rocket will appear.
The spacecraft will look like a bright orange star with a small V-shaped tail tracing a low arch from west to east.
In New York City, parts of Pennsylvania and North Carolina, the launch will be visible above the southern horizon 150 seconds after blast-off. 
About 180 seconds into the mission, the rocket will begin to be illuminated by the sun, which could make it appear even brighter. 

An unmanned rocket exploded early Tuesday evening.

According to NASA, the Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft were set to launch at 6:22 p.m. ET. It was set to carry some 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station.

"There was failure on launch," NASA spokesman Jay Bolden said. "There was no indicated loss of life.