February 15, 2009: Trip to Cold Spring

The sun is out and it was a beautiful morning.  Dominica was feeling restless today and we decided that it would be a great day to go out for a drive with Liesl and Oreo and to see if it would be possible to find some model railroading supplies so that we could do some modeling this weekend.

It took us a while before we were able to get out the door but we did pretty well, all things considered.  We researched some local model train stores and found one in Katonah that appears to only handle Marklin stuff from Germany which is excellent stuff but only avialable in HO and Z scales so that made it useless to us.  We also found one in Cold Spring which is two towns north of us.  Garrison lies in between.

Dominica attempted to find a yarn store in the area around Cold Spring but did not find one in a quick search so we decided to just drive by a place that might exist but for which there was no phone number.  Better than nothing.

The drive up to Cold Spring was really nice.  The GPS unit took us the east way around the mountain which must be almost exactly the way that dad goes when he is driving to and from Bear Mountain Bridge.  It is not the fastest way to the bridge but it appears to be the fastest way to Garrison.

The drive was really nice.  Such a great day for a nice, relaxing drive along the Hudson Valley.

Apparently we were not the only people who had this thought on this particularlly wonderful Sunday morning.  When we made it up to Cold Spring, probably a twenty minute drive, downtown was completely packed with people and parking was impossible to find.

We finally found a spot on the side of Church Street which turned out to be perfect as it was right around the corner from the little train store to which we were heading.  It was a nice, short walk and Liesl enjoyed being outside.  Oreo stayed in the warm car enjoying the sunshine.

Cold Spring, along with Garrison, are extremely attractive little Hudson Valley towns.  John Nicklin had recommended that we look at them when we were house hunting.  We had decided that they were too expensive and too far away for daily commuting to the city via train.  We will definitely be considering those towns, though, when Dominica returns to work and we need to move for additional space.  The towns are so pleasant.

The train store was so tiny that literally only two people could be in it at once without it causing a significant problem.  They had the supplies that we needed, however, so it worked out perfectly.  We picked up a small “diorama” kit which is designed to allow us to build a small 1′ by 2′, or something like that, little sample of a layout. The purpose being to teach us how to do a lot of the basics of scenery modeling such as the foam benchwork, plastering, making our own trees, ballast (which we have done before,) etc.  We also picked up a “water modeling” learning kit.  Everything is from Woodland Scenics.  Good stuff.

We also picked up some basic rolling stock just so that we would have something work with on the little track that we have at the moment.  We got a box car from Soo Lines and a covered hopper of Corning Glass (dad would be proud.)  Both are Atlas N Scale rolling stock.  The Corning hopper is an especially attractive unit.

After our shopping we took a quick swing down Chestnut Street to see if the yarn shop was still there and we found the address but the shop was long since gone.  No luck there.  So we continued on home to Peekskill.

We managed to spend a bit of the evening actually working on the diorama.  It was really exciting.  In our very first stages we learned quite a lot about how the basics of building a modern model railroad can be done.  This was both our first times working with foam based benchwork – in this case the Woodland Scenics Subterrain system.  It only took a little work with Woodland Scenics foam products before we were sure that we would be able to buy regular foam on our own and do the same type of work.  We learned a lot right off of the bat.

We only managed to get so much done tonight but the progress was very noticeable.  By the end of the night Dominica even remarked that the diorama was already beginning to look like a real layout even after the first half day of work.  We are very pleased and quite glad that we decided to purchase the learning kits because we have already gained a lot of confidence and feel that we will be much more prepared for doing the real layout which we hope to start later in the week.

Also this evening Dominica managed to wrap up her first course in her program at the University of Illinois.  She is doing a four course sequence and the first one is all done.  She also did the introductory work on the second section so that she will be ready to get started on that right away.  She is making very good progress and really learning a lot.  We have some things about the class that we don’t think are as good as they could be but the overall approach is excellent and it is really working out well for her.  Having me as a resource along with her obvious access to all sorts of UNIX platforms and educational resources really is enhancing her learning so she is getting far more out of the class than she would get from doing the class alone.

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