Nov 222013

My husband and I became volunteer managers of an HO Scale model train room at our area’s Senior Recreation Center last year.  How we have created the waterfalls and other scenes are shown hereTrain Room RR MuseumTrain Room scenic painter Train Room scenic painting

We found donated, non-working trains stored away in old boxes.  They deserved to be seen and enjoyed.  So, creating a railroad museum allowed these antiques to be displayed.

I’ve never considered myself an artist, but the walls needed some painted scenery for the trains to travel past.

A (circular track) helix that’s designed to bring the trains to the upper or lower level of tracks doesn’t allow me to reach portions of the wall.

Train Room scenery Great Salt LakeI had to devise my own “painting wand” out of a paint roller extending rod.  Masking tape holds an artist brush to the rod and allows me to add mountains, trees and clouds on the walls.

HO model trains pass by the Kennecott mine on the upper level and vignettes of our West Valley City and surrounding areas on the lower level.

We recently added the Great Salt Lake scene with its historical Saltair and Antelope Island.  Sail boats launching from the marina are included on the lake.

Trains, both real and make believe, hold so many wonderful childhood memories.

I would love to hear about your favorite recollections of watching or playing with trains.

Jul 092013

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam?  And I’ll show you some fresh buffalo chips! buffalo roaming antelope island blog
Visiting Utah’s Antelope Island State Park is the best way to view the Great Salt Lake, America’s Dead Sea.  The largest Island on the Great Salt Lake is home to a roaming herd of over 500 bison.

Bison roam anywhere they want to, and they may find your car side-mirrors ideal for scratching where it itches.  Explaining this damage on your car insurance claim may be difficult!

Pronghorn Antelope by Dave Menke, USFWS copyThe Antelope Island’s name came from the Pronghorns that populate the island.  They resemble the African antelope and apparently the North American cowboys didn’t want to call this place, Pronghorn Island.

Also, buffalo don’t roam anywhere in North America.  The bison resembles the African Buffalo, but singing about “where the bison roams” just doesn’t sound right.

Picture 281 copyOur grandsons are looking for signs that the buffalo herd had been there.

The island has many hiking and biking trails for them to enjoy.  But for now, the camping, sandy beaches, and exploring the historical Garr Ranch with us and their parents are more fun for them.

The bison and Pronghorn Antelope have long been a part of the island’s history and this is a great way to see nature living a free roaming life.

This white statue is the only kind of bison I would feel safe to have roaming near my home.  Through the openings, you can view the seven mile long causeway leading to Antelope Island.Blog buffalo
Blog buffalo causeway

Apr 082013

Utah has many unique and unusual sites worth visiting.  The Spiral Jetty, near Rozel Point definitely fits in this category.

2-Spiral JettyIn 1970, Robert Smithson built the 1,500-foot long, 15 foot-wide counter clockwise coil out of mud, salt crystals and basalt rocks.

He hired a contractor with two dump trucks, a tractor and a front-loader to move 6,650 tons of rock and earth from the shore into the water.

The sculpture juts out into an isolated area of the Great Salt Lake known as Gunnison Bay and is large enough to be seen in photographs taken from space.  IMGP1078The Spiral Jetty is located about 16 miles from the Promontory Golden Spike National Historic Site.

Our jeep easily took us over the unpaved, rock strewn roads.  We would not recommend visiting this area in anything but a high-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicle.

We visited the area when Utah was experiencing a drought and the basalt rocks and salt crystals were very visible.  Although the Jetty is usually below the water line, the best time to visit is in fall when the water level is at it’s lowest.

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