Aloha from Kauai!
Yesterday, Karell and I had a full day here on vacation in Kauai. We went tubing down one of the old cane plantation water canals. This was awesome! We both had a blast. The canals or “ditches” are over a hundred years old and feature five hand dug tunnels.
Later, we visited the Kauai Plantation Railway and met with Nick Adkins. (Nick is in the middle of the group) Nick was a great host. Not only did he give us a train ride, he also let me run the Whitcomb on the railway. The Whitcomb would be a perfect diesel for the PCRR. Then, Nick took us to Grove Farm and introduced us to Scott Johnson. Scott is in charge of the Grove Farm steam program and was on the team that restored the “Claus Spreckels” which is running on Maui. He, also, helped rebuild the boiler on the UP 844. Today, we went back to the Grove Farm Railway and went for a ride behind the Paulo.
(How did she manage to avoid the soot and black grease from leaping off the loco onto those pants?). The Paulo is an original locomotive to Kauai and is also a wood burner. It was built in 1887 in Germany. It was Karell’s first time on a wood burner and she had a lot of fun. Scott’s 12-year-old daugther, Le, is qualified on Grove Farm’s little diesel and helps her dad. We love seeing young people running trains and it is a real treat to see girls getting practical experience at a young age.
The weather was beautiful and tropical yesterday, but is overcast and dark today. We will go to Nick’s family’s luau tomorrow night and are hoping that the weather will cooperate. It seems you never know here. The wonderful rains that make this the “Garden Island” have a way of being unpredictable. Either way, a bad day on Kauai is pretty much better than any day anywhere else, and any day on a steam engine is a great day!
PHIL AND KARELL READER