Great Train Mystery on Webrangers

February 21, 2010

The National Park Service has a great Kid’s page called Webrangers and you get to the fun stuff through the entry gate page by clicking the Enter button. I had fun solving the two train mysteries – click on the New Activity Railroad Connection to learn how to drive the steam engine and blow the whistle – among other things – while earning clues to solve the mystery. The Railroad Connection also has a nice rail/national park connection in the second mystery. I entered the site as a visitor. It looks like you have to sign up to do the other activities. Ah, ha! No – I was given the key. Tom Davies, from the WebRangers website, wrote me to say you can get in to the other WebRangers activities without signing up. From the entry page, just click on the “Just Visit” button and then, on the next page, “Come in and look around.”

More than 108,000 people have signed up to become WebRangers and he knows that many of them are not kids! You can read his note by clicking on the 1 comment at the end of this entry or by clicking on the title to get to its own page where the comment will be at the end. 🙂

You can find more of my notes at 🙂

Vancouver Washington Railway Station

May 23, 2009

The illustration of Grandpa Ron and Austin watching big trains in my book Grandpa, Do It! I Do It, Too! is from a photo I took at the Vancouver Washington Railway Station while we watched trains ( called rail fanning ) after Austin woke up from his nap on his 3rd Birthday Party Day. The Vancouver station is special because it is on a “wye” so it has two front doors – one on the northwest side for North-South traffic and one on the southeast for traffic turning East. There are two major Amtrak trains that stop daily each way here: The Empire Builder and The Coast Starlight, and then there are also eight Amtrak Cascades. Here is an interesting article from 2002 about the renovation plans for the station. It is fun to see how it compares to what is happening now (2 more Cascades are going through it!)

There is also a lot of BNSF, Union Pacific and Portland & Western Railroad freight traffic coming and going – and local sorting in the yard, so Grandpa Ron and Austin had lots of trains to watch!

%d bloggers like this: