Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Train's Whistle Blows From the Past

          “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.”  Allen Saunders

 On Tuesday, I took my sweet little Lolita in for a physical to Les Swabb.   Now, I have been putting a lot of miles on Lolita and I believe in safety first so in she goes.  I had heard a little squeak with the wheel rotation and wanted it checked out.  A phone call a bit later was full of bad news.  A badly bent axle and slaughtered tires.
  “All human plans [are] subject to ruthless revision by Nature, or Fate, or whatever one    preferred to call the powers behind the Universe.”   Arthur C. Clarke

 Parts for 42 year old trailers is not something you find at your Camping World or your local Tire Store.  The axle is not something that is used on trailers today so the manager at my local tire store spent several days calling different companies to get as many options as possible all that will require waiting for the axle to be shipped to our location.   It is looking like it will be a week before the axle will be delivered.  Our plans to take Lolita to attend a vintage trailer rally 200 miles away in Roslyn, Washington seem out of the question.

           “When you establish a destination by defining what you want, then take physical action by making choices that move you towards that destination, the possibility for success is limitless and arrival at the destination is inevitable.”   Steve Maraboli,

As is the case for many vintage trailers, Lolita sits low to the ground so we are looking at options that will give a higher clearance since we KNOW I don't always stay on paved highways.  Today, Friday  Jeff called with news that he found another axle that is more heavy duty and will raise the clearance by four inches and it will be in the store by Monday. 

Some of the local wildlife

            “But I should caution that if you seek to plot out all your moves before you make them—if you put your faith in slow, deliberative planning in the hopes it will spare you failure down the line—well, you’re deluding yourself. For one thing, it’s easier to plan derivative work—things that copy or repeat something already out there. So if your primary goal is to have a fully worked out, set-in-stone plan, you are only upping your chances of being unoriginal.”   ― Ed Catmull

 As the week wore on, I felt less and less willing to miss the rally.  It was clear that Lolita would not be going to the ralley but why not us?  I do have a tent or there are other places to stay in the area. And what an opportunity to visit with other vintage trailer owners AND view their sweet little homes on wheels.   

        “No matter how thoroughly you plan, no matter how much you think you know, you've never thought of everything.”   ― John Flanagan

We loaded the truck with food, water and tent supplies and headed out not knowing if we would tent or stay in a motel.   Without reservations, and with rain and chilly weather in the forecast we headed out and would decide later in the afternoon where we would stay.

           “Spontaneity is one of the joys of existence, especially if you prepare for it in advance.”
Alan Dean Foster

Driving through rain and wind it became clear that we would be looking for a place to stay that had heat and a warm bed.  My preference would be to stay in Roslyn  within walking distance of the rally or  nearby Cle Elum, a short a 4 miles away, with Ellenburg, (21 miles further as a back up plan).  A short drive around Roslyn showed nothing available so we headed to Cle Elum.  I had heard of a  B and B that had been a Bunkhouse for train personnel who traveled on the old railroad lines.  I checked it out and we took one of their last rooms.  With the university graduation in Ellensburg on Saturday, it was one of the few rooms available in the entire area.

The warm welcome from the owners indicated this to be a wonderful place to call home for the night and indeed it was.  The previous home for many railroaders it is filled will railroad memorabilia and is something like spending the night in a museum. 

   “Those not chasing their dreams should stay out of the way of those who are.”   ― Tim Fargo

 If you are lucky enough or plan ahead you can stay in a caboose

Touring one of The B&B Cabooses

 Cle Elum is a sleepy western town of 1800 people that was built around the advance of railroad  being built in the early 1900's, (1906-1909)  making the railroad a transcontinental line.  The discovery of coal in the mountains around Cle Elum ensured the success of the town as a railroad hub into the future.    

    “It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

A short walk from the Iron Horse B&B leads to the grounds of the old Railyard where a historical walk with informational markers tell the story of railroads history.

 Our room was a tribute to John Johnson a Locomotive Fireman who retired in 1958 after many years of service on the Miwaukee and Pacific Railroad.  An immigrant from Sweden, the room included copies of many items personal of the railroad man who stayed in this very room on occasion.
Our room had a double bed plus a single for $89 including a yummy breakfast.                                                       

 Loved this room

“If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”  Yogi Berra

If you are in the area and in need of a wonderful place to stay, call the Iron Horse B&B in Cle Elum.
You will be glad you did.

“I'm not making any plans. I'm just going to let the universe surprise me.”
John Cusack

Next up..... A vintage Trailer Rally

Next post.... on to the Vintage trailer rally!


  1. Good for you to go on with your desires and plans even if Lolita can't come. You are a great role model for your granddaughter. Your room looks wonderful. So cozy. Love the alcove bed.

  2. what a great find. I would love to stay in a Caboos. And breakfast looks rally yummy

  3. How fun...what a cute place...must check it out sometime.