Months earlier, Glenda had suggested we find a mid-way meeting point for Labor Day. I'll admit, I wasn't very imaginative in thinking of places to explore, but thankfully, Glenda had a plan as she usually does, and discovered this tiny place. I had never even heard of Sumpter, an 1890's mining boom town, but she took it upon herself to arrange for a place for us to stay, researched things to do and see, and was ultimately responsible for the great time we all had.
We stayed on the bottom/ground floor of this beautiful home.
This was the view we enjoyed from the front room. The kind of view that included bald eagles sitting in the tops of the pine trees. It was beautiful.
And this is Sumpter. There was a flea market going on, a good number of visitors (considering the location and size of the town), and not much else. But it still had its' charms.
The old general store was one of those charms. I don't even remember if there was anything inside, but there is something about old store fronts that I find charming.
There was also the old bank. It succumbed to fire a hundred years ago, and the vault is the only thing still standing.
I am a sucker for old signs and advertisements.
The biggest event planned was the ride on the steam train. We bought tickets at our destination in McEwan. The view was quite lovely.
Then we headed back to Sumpter to catch our ride on this beast.
The engineer let me take some pictures of the actual engine prior to our departure. It was really warm in there, with a blazing fire raging inside of the smokebox and the boiler close by. I found all the gauges and levers and pipes amazing. The engineer said it took him 8 years to be able run the train on his own. Bryant was granted permission to spend the entire ride up there with the engineer.
The conductor seemed pretty respectable, but it looked like a mountain man took a day job as his assistant on the train as well.
Henry thought the train's horn was quite loud.
Claire enjoyed discussing the scenery with Grandma.
Henry just relaxed with Daddy.
After about an hour, our ride was done.
The engineer and the mountain man restocked the train with wood to keep the steam engine running.
Henry found train travel to be quite exhausting. So did Adam. They found an obliging picnic table to take a rest.
Sumpter was small and in the middle of nowhere. We attended a (overly lengthy) fiddle show and panned for gold. We walked around town looking for amusement, and drove 45 minutes to Baker when we realized there wasn't any place to eat past 7 pm. And it was a great time.