The frenetic activity at the Museum continued this past week, prior to the upcoming, overdue downturn in the above average temperatures and below normal precipitation. That is to say, we busted our butts doing winter prep work while it's still warm and dry. An exhaustive, yet not necessarily complete, list of stuff done follows. (The volunteers were exhausted, not the list.)
· Don, Ted and Jim moved some batteries around so Jim could work on getting the locomotives charged before winter.
· Ted went to Walker Yard to ensure Locomotive 9000 is not getting frozen up on these cold nights while she awaits CN's pleasure in returning her home.
· Don checked out the anti-freeze level in various pieces of motive power and reports they are more ready for the rigors of a harsh winter than he is.
· Ted filled the water tank in the wash car and shut down the water heater and counted one less day to go before he can head for the desert.
· Hans cleaned a number of items out of the way to provide access for the rental lifts into Dunvegan shop, replaced the light switch at the radial arm saw so we can now see what we are cutting, and staked out the new location for the storage sheds on the property line by the west crossing.
· Phil and Barry completed replacing the broken planking on the west crossing. Although it was noted that neither of them drove their vehicles over it to test the repairs.
· Jamie took delivery of the rental aerial lifts and spent a day learning how (not) to operate them. Not to worry - there were no serious paint transfers.
· Don hauled some dirt for a base for the storage sheds that are to be moved, then helped Barry try to locate the north end of the culvert at the gate.
· Barry put the lawn tractor into winter storage in the Quonset hut, moved a steel tank into Calder shop and filled it with water so there is a ready source in the event sparks from the restoration projects decide to light up the wood on the old cars, then made a valiant but vain attempt to locate the north end of the culvert at the gate.
· Irene and Herb picked up some pieces and parts at CN and delivered them to the museum.
· Jamie scraped the eave trim on the west end of the station, taking advantage of the rented articulated lift, otherwise known as the lazy man's ladder.
· Herb manned the volunteer center and worked on the computers for most of a day - we don't know what he actually did but no smoke issued from the windows so maybe he was taking advantage of the couch in there rather than the computer operator's chair?
· Irene, Gloria, Carol, Kathy and Rose Marie completed the onerous task of doing season end inventory in the gift shop. Well done, gals! And they did their best to reduce the inventory of the Kreuig specialty coffees and hot chocolate, no point in having it go stale over the winter, eh?
· Just one problem - they didn't eliminate the inventory of the apple strudel that Irene baked in the morning as a treat for everyone. Barry, Don, Jamie and Herb had to come to the rescue in the afternoon to polish off the rest of the pie.
· Don inspected the parts and pieces CN gave the museum and determined there is lots of good stuff. Just the bolts they sent are worth their weight in, well, copper anyway. Don also expended considerable time and effort to get the articulated lift unstuck at the station entrance. Don and the dozer won another battle.
· Jamie finished painting the trim on the west end of the station despite burying the articulated lift in the entrance walkway to the station and having to complete the job via ladder. Subsequent to the lift rescue, he now owes Don a lifetime supply of sandwiches.
· Ivan picked up a second tarp for Comboose 306 as well as the roof metal for the Dunvegan Shop project and dropped it off by the shop. One more step toward getting rid of the pigeons in the shop.
· Ted and Jim continued prepping the locomotive fleet for winter, did some repair work on Switch 6 and gave motive power orientation tours of 6514 and 1392 to our new volunteers Rob and Kyle.
· Don did some cleanup work around the site with the tractor. He and Rob went over to a local automotive shop and inspected the Museum's army truck that is undergoing a somewhat slow and unsteady restoration. Then he supervised the Switch 6 repair work and held court in Calder Shop.
· Herb also held court in Calder Shop, received a donation of half a man whose hands were in a separate box (no police presence required, but that is another story) and hosted a visit from a San Francisco rail fan.
· Our newest volunteer, Kyle P., went through the site orientation ordeal and then most ably assisted Jamie in doing some fall cleanup chores, helped take down the St Albert sign from the west end of the station for refurbishing and scraped one of the storm windows from the Station in preparation for its repair and painting. Welcome to the volunteer crew Kyle.
· Jamie got the new tarp onto the Comboose so it is, at last, fully covered.
And now, a preview of next week's episode: Stay tuned for the dramatic and exciting blowing up, er, out of the site water lines. And be sure not to miss the beginning of the end of the astral observatory in the Dunvegan Shop roof. Check the website for bonus material on the overdue return of Locomotive 9000 and some other surprises!