blog by

rob kircher

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Peaceful and Fun Weekend

Boy have we had a busy couple of weekends.  Last weekend we were up in Pittsburgh visiting Amanda and had a great time.  This weekend we took a quick trip up to Strasburg, PA primarily so Terry and Caroline could go to a Doll House/Miniature show but we also used the trip to visit one of our favorite places, the Strasburg Railroad and as an added bonus we stayed at the Red Caboose Motel in a actual converted Caboose car. 

The Strasburg Railroad

Strasburg 20090419-0007-1Replacement sets of wheels in the yard

20090419 Strasburg-0071 Caroline catches dad in action.  I didn’t like the resulting image so don’t ask to see it

For those who haven’t been to Strasburg its a must see kind of place.  The railroad sits right in the middle of Lancaster’s Amish community and runs from Strasburg to Paradise, PA.   Its a short ride but the old 2-8-0 Baldwin engine is a site to be seen as it rolls surprisingly very quietly by. 

Strasburg 20090419-0112-1No 90 rolling through the crossing on its way to the station

Strasburg 20090419-0067-1 Old and young alike gather along the line to snap a few photos

Of course standing along the rails snapping pictures is only part of the fun.  Taking a ride is what most want to do.  I’ve ridden that train countless times since I was a little boy but it never gets old.  You just can’t go up there without taking a ride.

Strasburg 20090419-0015Hanging out the window

Strasburg 20090419-0024 Just a bit of the scenery along the way

Strasburg 20090419-0045-1 The cool gals awash in amber light 

Strasburg 20090419-0029Tired of the Paparazzi

Along with a normal out and back ride you can get an all day pass and ride as many times as you want or get off at the picnic area about a mile down the line and then hop a returning train later in the day.  For the more sophisticated traveler they also offer a wine and cheese train every evening at 6pm. 

Strasburg 20090419-0065-1If you look carefully you can see the waiter with a bottle of wine in the window.


Remember I mentioned the Amish?  Well here’s one I took not long after the wine train went by. 

Strasburg 20090419-0078Amish buggy crossing train tracks 

Unfortunately, like just about everywhere, Lancaster and Strasburg streets are lined with telephone poles and wires.  At first I didn’t like this image because of those wires but the more I look at it the more I see the juxtaposition of the Amish way of life crossing with our way of life.  Don’t know… What do you think? 


The Red Caboose Motel

20090419 Strasburg-0114 Caroline hamming it up again

As I said at the beginning we stayed at the Red Caboose Motel which is right along the tracks and within walking distance of the station.  This place has been there for as long as I remember and is literally a bunch of old caboose cars converted into motel rooms. 

Strasburg 20090419-0134One of three rows of cabooses that make up the motel 

Terry and I took Amanda up there once when she was about Caroline’s age so we figured we’d do the same with Caroline.  Well I have to say I’m certainly glad I did.  This has to be one of the most family friendly places I’ve had the pleasure to stay in.  Lots of other families with kids of all ages for Caroline to play with and in the evening the owner set a large bond fire out behind the barn so the kids could roast marshmallows.  During the summer months they show movies on the side of the barn and there is an old dinning car converted into a restaurant which serves dinner type food from 8am to 8pm.   

The owner was telling us that he bought the place 4 years ago with only 6 cabooses in habitable condition.  Since, they’ve been renovating and now have all the cabooses operational as evident with the full house this weekend.  A family run business, all the kids help run, maintain and keep the place clean which lends a great deal to the family atmosphere. 

Anyway, while Caroline was occupied with her scooter, other kids, and the petting zoo I took some time to snap a few images. 

Strasburg 20090419-0138My Favorite 

Strasburg 20090419-0143A lone tree in view as the sun sets over the farmers field 

Strasburg 20090419-0153Cars stream by

As the title of this entry states, it was a peaceful and fun filled weekend. 

Oh and we did manage to get to the Doll House show.  The girls enjoyed looking at all the miniatures and gathering ideas for their grand mansion in miniature. 


  1. Looks like a productive weekend! Good shots. Love the lone tree. The shot of Caroline "tired of paparrazzi" is funny for another reason: When you're sitting in a train passenger car the last thing you usually want to see is the front of a steam engine out your window! ;^}

  2. LOL, I can see were seeing the front end of the loco would be a bit disconcerting, however, in this case the engine is facing that way as it pulls the cars out to its destination. Once there it hooks to the other end of the line of cars and pulls the train back facing in the right direction.

  3. Very nice shots. I like the cabooses. I want to stay there!

  4. The girls would love it!!! We almost stopped on our way up to see if they wanted to come along. ;-) Next we go we'll take them with us.

  5. They would love it. Definately pick us all up the next time. :-)