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Summer Wrap Up

It seems like just last week I was making the first trip up to Steamer Hill to open up the camper for the season, and just a few weeks ago we closed it up until next year.

Here’s a quick recap of what I did this summer, for anyone who cares.

We had 8 weekends of steam related activities (including one this coming weekend) to attend. Many were for Rollag, and a few other shows to help promote the Allis expo at Rollag this year. Eileen was voluntold she was the chairperson last fall, and we had a lot of work to do, cramming two years of planning into a year.

Once again, I rode the MS-150 bike tour. I believe I have been riding each year since 1996. 150 miles of biking, over two days. It’s become one of those things I just do every year because it’s not too difficult and it raises money for a good cause.

A few weekends were spent out on the St. Croix for various events such as the 4th of July and Christening party for the SCYC

We took a camping trip with our friends the Nelson’s in July (more of the Rollag family) and headed up to William O’Brien State Park in MN. Overall the weekend was pretty good, but we could have done without the douchebag in the fishing boat waking us and other nearby canoes (causing us to tip over being the closest to them)

I spent way too much time working on Cushman 2.1 for Rollag. I probably have about 300 hours in this masterpiece since I started it last December. At the end of the project, there are still things I could improve upon given more money, but it worked well for it’s debut at Rollag, and I look forward to using it again next year.

I launched a new website Valley Photography. As an avid photographer for over a decade now, I’ve dug in all my photos and am creating an online collection for sale. Prints are available in just about any size, and at a great price with standard orders capping at about 65$ for a 24×30 full color print. Portions of the proceeds from a few photos will be given to the SOS Fund (Save Our Steamers) at Rollag to aide in the repair of some steam engines at the show.

I’ve silently launched a website, as noted above SOS Fund (Save Our Steamers). This site is still needing content about the few engines that need repair, but in short it’s a donation site allowing contributors to donate to a fund that will aid in the repair of a few of the WMSTR owned engines that are currently unable to operate due to safety reasons regarding the boilers on the engines. They’re 80+ years old and have worn out to be used anymore. The site is aimed at getting the word out, and trying to use the Internet as another form of gaining awareness.

I’ve also decided that I want to finally get my MN Steam License. Having been at Rollag for 15+ years now, it’s time that I get my little white engineers ribbon. I’ve been spending a number of hours on a few of the scale engines that I have access to, and hope to take my test next June if I have the hours required (50) or else right before Rollag next August. I can’t say I have a practical use for this, nor do I own a steam engine I can run, however it does mean I can pitch in and help others with engines, and in time as I gain more experience, help other learn.

There is a ton of other stuff I’ve done this year, but it would be more boring than this stuff, so I’ll skip it. All in all, it’s been a good summer, but busy. I’ll be looking forward to not being gone every weekend, as it’s been a killer on gas!