The Lynx Mountain and Blackberry started out as an HOn3 Shay, given
to me as a present. I lettered it with my wife's initials, then
had to come up with a name the acronym fit. I'm guessing I was inspired
by Bruce Bates' Birdwater and Raspberry and the LM&B was founded.
In 1994 we rented a small house in Tsawwassen ( tah-WAH-sen, not
sah-wah-sen as anyone who doesn't live here and only knows it for
the BC Ferry terminal pronounces it ). I had just been to the 1994
NMRA meet in Portland, Oregon and saw G Scale for the first time.
I decided that the double cedar tree out back was a great place
to build a small loop.
The first thing I discovered was G was expensive. I mean, I know
LGB is quality stuff and would probably last through a nuclear blast,
but I was not going to spend several thousand on a train set!
The only other option was to "go cheap". I cut my own
ties, use aluminum code 250 rail, made my own equipment and built
my own structures. OK - it took the better part of two summers to
get things running, but it was pretty sweet when it did run. And
OK - maybe I spent more time cleaning the track and fixing derailments,
but when you've only got a 45' loop of track to work with, that
passes for action.
As you can tell if you've read the history of the LM&B ( see
here ), I was pretty choked when I had to pull everything apart
because the landlord wanted the house for his son to live in. Of
course, it was a relief to leave as we were getting pretty tired
of the idiot neighbours and their stereo ( we got a call from the
new tenants shortly after asking us how long we had put up with
the 2 am parties and did we have the name of their landlord. We
did, as we liked to call him at 4 am when the parties really got
going ). I've often thought they should make communites just for
idiots who like to party through the night. ( Insert your own Surrey
joke here )
After spending six months in another 60 year old house that, oddly
enough, was also the house where I went to kindergarten 30 years
previously, and was also home to a family of squirrels in the attic
and another family of rats in the basement, we bought a house of
our own ( we had a lot of incentive to buy ).
We moved in in October of 1997. I spent the first spring of 1998
knocking down "Cujo"'s Dog Kennel in the back yard. Whoever
built this built it for a grizzly bear, not a dog. It had 6"
thick concrete walls supporting a chain link fence built on 2"
thick steel pipes embedded in the concrete. It was also covered
with ivy from years of neglect. Here's a picture
of what I had to start with. Fortunately, it wasn't too difficult
to smash apart with a good cutting saw and sledgehammer. The rest
of the summer I worked on the front yard clearing the 10 yards of
river rock and overgrown shrubs that passed for a yard.
The summer of 1999 was spent mainly a) landscaping and b) travelling
through Great Britain ( hey, guess what? No pictures of our vacation
here! You're welcome. Although I took some very cool shots on the
Ffestiniog Narrow Gauge Railway in Wales. I can email you an image
if you really want one) and c) fighting noisy neighbours again.
I also put in the pond and spent the summer feeding goldfish to
the racoons. Not that I wanted to, but had little choice in the
matter. You know how the pond is supposed to be deep so the fish
have a palce to hide from predators on the surface? The raccoons
dropped rocks in the pond to scare the fish up. Good thing goldfish
The summer of 2000 saw real, actual track being laid and trains
being run. Just FYI, here are the details:
||Late 1930's British Columbia
||cedar ties, hand spiked code 250 aluminum, painted
Krylon primer red
||ancient 250 Watt surplus power supply, Aristo
Craft Train Engineer powers track
||trestle bridge, Howe truss bridge, both hand
|| crushed limestone
||1/4" screened crushed limestone mixed with
||lilac tree canted at 45° angle for some
odd reason, ivy, morning glory, periwinkle and other nasty
tenacious weeds. And a few things that may have survived the
|Reason for Being
||Keep me out of trouble and I don't golf.
I can't say what the future will bring. My current
work load consists of feeding and changing my infant son, Brendan.
I don't anticipate much work getting done this summer. But I would
like to see
- another loop of track
- switching yard
- live steamer ( hand made of course )
Like my Boss says, " Make a list of your priorities...".
Yeah, and those change on a daily basis....