“DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME”—WITH A REGULAR SKUNK! THE POOR THING WILL GET SQUASHED AND YOU’LL BE SPATTERED—SMELLING WORSE THAN ANY TOURIST TRAIN EVER DID! 😀
“All aboard for Rodgers, Summit, Crowley, Clare Mill, Burbeck, Shake City, Irmulco and Northspur.”
On a cold and rainy January morning, in Willits California, I boarded the Northspur Flyer, otherwise known as Skunk Train. Diesel locomotive #64 pulled out of the depot with 11 passengers, one engineer, one conductor and one hostess on board. The engine, a passenger car, an open-air observation car and the bar car set off gently rocking with several blasts of the train whistle.
In the days before roads and trucks could do the job, the 131-year old Skunk Train made it possible to move massive redwoods from the remote mountainous forest to lumber mills on the coast and inland. Today the train is classified as historic. Excursions vary from the 1-hour Pudding Creek Express, roundtrip from coastal Fort Bragg, to the magnificent 4.5-hour Northspur Flyer, roundtrip from inland Willits. The trains nickname, Skunk, came…
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