Friday, August 17, 2018

Roaring Camp: Train Rides, Food, Caricatures and Family

The old steam train at Roaring Camp, Felton, Santa Cruz, California.

Some of my happiest memories are days of summers spent with my husband at Roaring Camp, in Felton, Santa Cruz, California. This summer tallies seven years we’ve been faithfully going.

Of The Boardwalk: I crave the taste for yummy hot dog on a tick, slathered with mustard, and the taste of mushrooms and zucchini and artichoke hearts battered and deep fried. With my minds-eye, I see the giant redwoods, and can even now conjure all the wonderful earthy smells: smoke from the steam train and all the fresh, heavenly scents in the woods. I can also hear the birds chirping, see them flying, swooping here and there.

This is how I bask and delight in happiness, in my memories, remembering every detail of every visit to Roaring Camp.

Every year we’ve made it a habit to be among the first to arrive—arriving before the sun has had a chance to warm the day. In the chill of the morning we impatiently wait for that first choo-choo sound we’ll hear, when it is time to board our train.

At 10:00 A.M. we board our first train, the one that will take us through the beautiful redwoods, its course set for the Board Walk, at Santa Cruz beach. Then, at 1:00 P.M. we board our 2nd train, the steam train that will take us for a 1-hour ride deep into the forest of giant redwoods. During this time, while we sit and enjoy our ride in the open fresh air, the train’s conductor proceeds to tell us of Roaring Camp’s history, of how those many acres of giant redwoods were saved from the logger’s ax. Hence how Roaring Camp came to be.

When we disembark from our 2nd train ride, back at Roaring Camp, we make trail to find the lady that sketches caricatures (she has been sketching at this park for as long as we’ve been going). And I have a proud collection of caricatures, of family and friends that have accompanied us over the years, at our proud invitation.

Lastly, though we’ve already eaten lots of goodies throughout the day, we look to patronize the vendors in Roaring Camp one more time, and again indulge until our bellies hurt. And then we’ll do this again next year, and for as long as Roaring Camp is still around.

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6 comments on Roaring Camp: Train Rides, Food, Caricatures and Family

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By melanie jean juneau on December 03, 2012 at 10:26 am

what a wonderful tradtion

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By Barbara MacDonald on December 03, 2012 at 10:54 am

LOL...I want to come too my friend...sounds like such a wonderful time...especially I would love getting a caricature done...You always paint such a vivid picture with your words Virginia, that it makes me feel like I am right there with you...Loved this article and am happy you keep such wonderful memories in your heart....hugs :-)

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By HomeRearedChef on December 03, 2012 at 11:47 am

Melanie, it is a tradition that hubby and I will want to continue, as long as Roaring Camp is around and we are able to go.

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By HomeRearedChef on December 03, 2012 at 11:50 am

You would be more than welcome to join us, mi Amiga! It is really a wonderfully refreshing time. I heard a lady say once that sitting on the trains, enjoying nature and the open air, is the best therapy for a down-cast spirit. The quaint little town makes you feel as if you've traveled back in time. I recommend it to anyone! Big hugs back you! :)

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By souschef on December 03, 2012 at 03:25 pm

What a blast!

I understand it is also relaxing but my first reaction is that it would be a real blast to spend the day riding old trains!

Really nice!

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By HomeRearedChef on December 03, 2012 at 04:55 pm

Ditto! Riding the old trains gives it that special touch: that romantic feeling of old. Sigh! :)

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