Our newest family hobby is all about trains. Yes, more trains. You know - Max's favorite thing in the world. This time they're model trains that run on a track in the backyard.
A few months ago we went on the Rose City Garden Railway Society's Annual Summer Tour. The RCGRS is a club of folks in Portland, Oregon who love Garden scale model railways. Some members have their own railways, some just enjoy those of other members'. We only managed about half the tour stops, but it was really amazing. Each stop was a club member's home where they were running demonstration trains. Max was in heaven. We were also really inspired to get something going in our own yard.
The homes we visited had many different setups. The hardest part was convincing Max to leave any one place. He asked several times if he could just stay and live there. Some had bridges, water features, or buildings; many had multiple trains and miniature landscaping. The last one even let him drive the train with the remote box. He was so intent on doing everything right!
We knew we were going to have to start our own track. The wonderful folks at Tammie's Hobbies in Beaverton helped us order a starter set and gave plenty of great advice for free. We picked a Thomas set, partly because Max loves Thomas, and partly because they're made with littler engineers in mind, so the couplings are a bit easier, and the trains a bit heartier. We haven't had the time or resources to do a fancy garden track, so currently it's just a loop on the back porch, but Max is over the moon. He's been dragging every visitor we have out back to show it to them. He even tried to rope in the mailman, though he was fortunately distracted before that got too awkward.
He has big plans for all the things he wants; bridges, tunnels, a shed, a mines, etc. It's been a lot of fun planing and learning together. I think we're going to join the RCGRS too, where Max will get to be surrounded by fellow train fanatics. I'll be sure to post updates as we start our real train line!
Do you guys have any cool hobbies you want to share?