Few places in the world can make you truly feel as if you stepped back in time. This 135-year old train in the far reaches of Northern California is one of them.
We packed our bags and headed north along the scenic California countryside to take a trip on the historic "Skunk Train", and snag some photos of our new Mendocino Train flower that was named in its honor, and boy was it a trip to remember!
A Lumber Legacy
According to the Skunk Train website, "In the early 1880s, lumbermen C.R. Johnson, Calvin Stewart and James Hunter joined together to expand timber operations in Mendocino County. By 1885, the Fort Bragg Railroad was formed to make transporting lumber easier. This would form the foundation of what would eventually become the California Western Railroad, more commonly known as The Skunk."
I mean, check this thing out!
Why the "Skunk"?
The nickname started in 1925, when motorcars were introduced. These single unit, self-propelled cars had gasoline-powered engines for power and stoves that burned oil to keep passengers warm. The fumes produced a pungent odor, and the folks living nearby began appropriately calling them "skunks."
"You could smell them before you could see them."
The historical route which was built by hand was critical to the families and workers who lived in the area. It wasn’t simply for industrial purposes – it also became an essential part of social and cultural life.
We showed up in Fort Bragg at the train Depot and were greeted by a friendly Conductor named Johnny. He explained that the train we'd be riding today is Diesel-powered as the steam engine was in the workshop (it'll be back in August-September).
Our route is called the Pudding Creek Express. It's a beautiful 7-mile journey that departs from downtown Fort Bragg, just across the street from North Coast brewery (tip: grab a six pack of Scrimshaw for the ride). The route features beautiful views of the Pudding Creek Estuary and pristing redwoods with trails that seem to call out your name as they pass by.
Once we arrived at our destination called Glen Blair Junction, we were told that we had the option to stay for 15-minutes or wait two hours until the next train arrives. We had some snacks, beers and our hiking boots – so we figured why not stay and enjoy the scenery!
We were well rewarded with the blissful tranquility of the forest. While there, we meandered aimlessly along hiking trails, ventured along the creek, discovered an abandoned lawnmower, and even staked out the best place to grab a photo of the train when it arrived. It began to rain lightly about 10 minutes before the train arrived, but the canopy of the redwoods kept us dry.
Once we boarded, we did a little happy dance in the rain and then set out for home.
What we loved about this experience is what we love about our new Mendocino Train flower - it's adventurous, yet peaceful thanks to its 2:1 ratio of CBD to THC. An uplifting experience for the mind, body and soul. We hope our Mendocino Train brings you on an adventure you'll never forget.
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