Kate does not particularly like pictures, but I don't care. :)
This pretty much sums up the colors and chill mood of this Christmas.
I got some good chill and geek time with the camera.
This is our humble little 5 foot tree. LED lights, popcorn, pine cones, and snowflakes make it a little less scraggly.
Kate loves her tea and poofy hat.
We went exploring. Just up from one of the trail heads is this old and rarely used railroad between Felton and Santa Cruz.
If you don't know, I am a bit of a bridge nut and fell in love with the steel bones of this old man.
A little old and a little new for the wood... but the steel is all original and over 100 years old.
The Redwoods out here are really big. (This is one of the smaller ones.)
Nature adapting. This tree fell and decided to start growing sideways.
Now there is a perfect row or "trees" a couple feet above the ground. :)
We wandered over to Roaring Camp Railroad and looked around. http://www.roaringcamp.com/ This is one of the many adorable stores in its mini western town.
We hiked to the top of the mountain and caught old Number 7 at the top full of tourists.
This is one of the strongest steam trains for its size. Built in 1911, it is geared for hauling lumber on and off of mountains. This is the drive-train for all of the wheels.
These are the three steam pistons that vertically drive the shaft. You can also see the coal burner underneath. There is so much awesome in this picture.
The big and little kids love this thing.
So... much... awesome.
It is hard to describe the smell of this beast. Part oil, part steam, part burning coal. And very loud. I am humbled that these used to wander the countryside.
In our wanderings back down the mountain we found a section of old tracks and bridge that burned out years ago.
Sad that the old bridge can't be repaired.
My shutter was a little slow, but you can see Old #7 tearing down the mountain here. If you are interested, there is more info on her here -- http://www.roaringcamp.com/history/
The forest seemed happy today.
Kate and I warmed up with some Hot Cocoa at the camp.
We found these *tiny* little mushrooms growing on the fallen trees on the way back. I was looking for the Smurf Village, but no luck. :(
We eventually made our way back to our old friend.
The plaque reads "American Bridge Company of New York, U.S.A. 1909" and a badge at the top of the bridge reflected the same date. We did some searching when we got back and found this which explains a lot -- http://www.sia-web.org/occasionalpub/AmericanBridges/directory/AppendixC.pdf
I hope to build something that lasts more than 100 years someday.