LOCOMOTIVE LONGING: We're fairly sure that trains cannot get tetchy, and that machines of transport don't experience feelings of envy or jealousy. They move people and goods about, without a thought to what might going on elsewhere. But if we were to look at the desert areas of California right about now, and all of the wildflowers popping up, we might say that the Wildflower Train at Railtown 1897 would wish for travelers to know that beautiful petals are also a Gold Country sight, albeit a sight that arrives a few weeks later than the desert flowers. There is no competition or jealousy to be had, however; while Death Valley and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park get to blooming in the final days of February 2016, Sierra No. 3, the famous Movie Star Locomotive, will keep its eye -- er, engine -- trained on April. That's the traditional time of year when the beloved Wildflower Trains run, though they're not every day. They're scheduled for two special Saturdays in the first full month of spring, so if spying some spectacular petals while you chug, chug, chug along is high on your bucket list, be sure to keep an eye on the Railtown 1897 site for all of the delightful details.
IF YOU CAN'T CHUGGA CHUG... on Saturday, April 9 or Saturday, April 16 -- the 2016 Wildflower Train dates -- there shall be more warm-weather train rides to choose from. Of course, on the petal-pretty excursions you'll have a naturalist nearby to explain all of the flora you're seeing along the Sierra Foothills route. It's truly old California landscape, and the hills and dells you pass look highly unchanged, as if they're still existing in, well, 1897, or thereabouts. Want to peruse the full scope of Sierra No. 3 rides to come? Get to dreaming now of your spring and summer locomotive larks. They're outings made for train buffs, families, and those looking to see some Gold Country-style wilderness from their moving perch upon the famous tracks.