Ben Sochacki and his Delightful Wife Ride the Skunk Train Rails on a Track Bike

The Skunk Train located here in Fort Bragg has not yet re-opened for visitors. However, the Skunk Train does offer the opportunity to ride its rails on a track bike. As of today (June 12th, 2020) because of the pandemic only locals are allowed to ride. Club Member Ben Sochacki and his wife decided to escape from resting in place and take a ride.

Here’s the pictures he sent of his experience.

Ben and his wife’s chariot

Ben and his wife taking a break after pedaling from Fort Bragg to the end of the line at Glen Blair Junction

The yet to be opened Tunnel #1 of the Skunk line as seen from the Glen Blair Junction

Just wanted to let you know that the bike’s have an electrical assist. So far their have been NO reports of injuries (they are virtually impossible to turn over) or cardiac arrest.


Birds along the Mendocino Coast – Take 2

Blue Jays are like English cuckoos. They are mean. Yesterday one somehow infiltrated into my train room via wife Sarah’s office. Blue Jays screech. Blue Jays screech VERY loudly. This one made a racket like no tomorrow trying to get out. I got me a towel and after chasing the SOB around my layouts I cornered the vile beast and got the towel over it. As I tried to hold it the blank blank thing bit me. I let it go and retreated. When Sarah returned home we got a much larger and thicker towel, smothered it, picked it up and let it go. If there is a next one I will tell it to leave peacefully or i will belt it with my precious cricket bat.

Later I found out that said bird had left his calling card all over the layouts ………….

Which is how I got into birds. I am not a twitcher and can I identify a very few birds. Lynn Catletts, “You know you’re from Mendocino if …….” facebook page has a plethora of amazing photos of birds who either live here on the Mendo Coast or who fly through it. In our garden there are the regulars and those who come and go. Currently we have swifts/swallows whizzing around our abode.

So, here are a dozen or so  great bird photos I have half inched. See how many you know. (Click to see full size.)

Wreck of the Steamer J.S. Cabot In Mendocino Bay in 1860

Some how or other I came to acquire this piece of info:

“In 1860 twelve lives were lost in a terrible maritime disaster in Mendocino Bay. The brig J.S.Cabot had approached the loading chute to take on a cargo of lumber. Seeing the chute was currently in use, the captain attempted to turn back to sea but a sudden gale brought in a heavy sea from the south. Although anchors were dropped, the ship was dragged and capsized. A boat from shore was launched to rescue the sailors, but the rescue boat was rolled over by a large wave. Half of those lost were the would-be rescuers.”

Whence it came I have no idea. It’s remained in my “more info needed” pile for some considerable time.

Our website has a large section (under Ships) of the vessels that plied the Mendocino Coast. Alas, there is nothing about this ship, the J.S. Cabot. A trawl of the ‘net also came up with an empty net.

Whilst staying at home during these awful times I have been sorting through old hard drives. On a hard drive i was using in 2015 I found this photo in a folder called “Cabot shipwreck.” I think the photo is of the ship referred to above.

Wreck of the Steamer J.S. Cabot in Mendocino Bay

If anyone has more better info PLEASE let me know.