We’re going to be leaving on May 16 for one of the many trips we make every year in our motor home. Several people have asked me where we’re going so I thought it would be easier to explain with pictures.
Starting in about May every year we go on railroad Speeder Runs, my husband's hobby really but we go together. Railcars, or “speeders” were used for railroad maintenance before railroads started using hi-rails, the pick-up trucks with drop-down rail wheels on them. Once the railcars were discarded people started buying them and now there are several clubs that arrange for groups to take them out on the rails.
Our car looks like a police car because Rod was a reserve police officer in Willits several years ago and got permission from the local police department to use the emblem.
Rod even put tracks in our “Railroad Theme” backyard so we can easily move our speeder out of the motor home and to the shed in the back of the yard
Although many people restore the cars to their original state some people in the hobby chose a theme when restoring their car. A few years ago we discovered two other people who had restored their cars with emergency vehicle themes. We arranged to meet them on a Speeder Run so we could meet and get our picture taken together.
Speeders come in all sizes from very small ….
... to bigger cars that can carry several people. This picture was taken in Ione, CA. Every year they have a rail fair and offer rides to the public to raise money for their local club.
We have a 27' motor home with a "garage" in the rear to haul the speeder in and then we can stay in the motor home on the road also.
Our dogs are rail fans too, they love to accompany us on our speeder runs.
We've been all over the western U.S., every year we go to Montana for 2 weeks (that's coming up May 29 - June 16 this year). This is the group of “Speeder Friends” we meet in Grants Pass, OR every year to travel in a motor home caravan to the Montana Speeder Run
In 2005 we traveled all the way to North Carolina and were part of a local 4th of July parade in Parkton, NC. Rod entered town on the railroad tracks as the parade started with lights and siren:
That was a really fun trip for me because I hadn’t had the opportunity to travel very far from the west coast. My mother had died the previous December and we were able to stop and see the small town of Blue Earth, MN where she was raised. I was able to find the house she grew up in and was amazed to find The Jolly Green Giant at the entrance to the town (that's me between his feet)
We camped near the base of Devil’s Tower, WY...
... and visited Mt. Rushmore
We had the opportunity to visit several railroad museums. The Illinois Railroad Museum even had a speeder with a plaque explaining their history and use.
In order to participate in Speeder Runs you have to belong to the national club because they provide the necessary insurance. The local clubs set up the runs with the railroad. The railroad treats the group like a train, sending one of their representatives along with the group to keep in contact with the railroad because we operate on live track and so have to keep on schedule. It's a lot of fun, I like it because it's something Rod and I can do together. If you want more information about the hobby, here’s a link to the national club website: