Friday, March 24, 2017

1 North: Fort Bragg, Skunk Train, and 101 North: Willits, Skunk Train

update/p.164


Skunk Train   
Foot of Laurel St., Fort Bragg, (707) 964-6371.  Daily; schedule varies.  $25, 3-11 $15, infants and dogs $10/$10.  Reservations advised.  The Skunk Train was founded here in 1885 as a division of the Union Lumber Company.  The tracks are standard gauge, 4’ 8½”.  The line was extended east to harvest trees for milling and arrived in Willits in 1911.  The railroad took 26 years to build and was once used to deliver mail along the way.  The train gets its name from the fact that the original logging trains emitted unpleasant odors from their gasoline engines.  Loggers said they “could smell ‘em before they could see ‘em.”  It is an interesting factoid that the nickname and logo character was created in 1925, 3 years before Mickey Mouse arrived on the scene.  Today, a few vintage motorcars are still used in winter, but most trains are pulled by steam or diesel engines as they travel through dense redwood forest, through deep mountain tunnels, and over many bridges and trestles.  The Pudding Creek Express is a 1-hour, 7 mile round-trip excursion, turning at Glen Blair Junction. 
 

family gets ready to board Skunk Train in Fort Bragg, California
family gets ready to board Skunk Train in Fort Bragg, California

299 E. Commercial St., Willits, (707) 964-6371.  Year-round.  $84/$109, 2-12 $42/$67, infants & dogs $10/$10.  Reservations advised.  The Northspur Flyer makes a 40-mile, 4-hour round-trip to Northspur.  The journey includes plenty of switchbacks, and you’ll go through a tunnel and see ancient groves of magnificent redwoods.  A BBQ Dinner Excursion chugs along the same route, and traveling to remote Camp Noyo to spend the night camping is also an option.  

Skunk Train depot in Willits, California
Skunk Train depot in Willits, California

passenger boards Skunk Train in Willits, California
passenger boards Skunk Train in Willits, California

riding through the redwoods on Skunk Train in Willits, California
riding through the redwoods on Skunk Train in Willits, California


More things to do in Fort Bragg.

More things to do in Willits. 

Here are some travel articles to inspire and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


8 comments:

  1. Oh way back I had an uncle and aunt who lived in Willets and who we visited one summer. This brought back wonderful memories of a long-ago road trip.

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  2. These historic train rides are so much fun, aren't they!? I'd love to take this ride someday.

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  3. What a great ride that would be...on a historic train though it may no longer bear the trademark smell!

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  4. I love train rides, especially historic trains. It would be great to take the dinner excursion!

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  5. The BBQ Dinner Excursion sounds like a really fun family experience!

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  6. Love vintage train rides- the Skunk Train looks like great fun!

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  7. I love vintage trains too! I haven't done the Skunk Train, but I think my most memorable was the Jacobite Steam Train in the Scottish Highlands. It's the one that was used as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films.

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  8. Sweet memories of youth and travel -- I took the Skunk Train ride when I was a kid. I would love to hop on again and maybe add in the BBQ Dinner Excursion.

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