In Thursday’s Spelling Bee post I wrote about the the cabooses in Cle Elum, Washington.
I decided to try to see if the cabooses are still there. I couldn’t imagine that they weren’t there, but it’s been about six years, and I was hoping that there would be more. Especially because the Cascade Rail Foundation states that they intend to acquire more rolling stock as it becomes available.
I looked at Google Maps and finally found the cluster of cabooses that are behind me in those pictures. In December of 2014, I had tried the doors of these cabooses with the hopes that I would get to see inside. I had been in a caboose as a child, and it was pretty cool.
I also learned that cabooses are shaped the way they are so those riding in the caboose can see the entire train in when there’s a curve in the track.
But back to these cabooses in the Cascades.
The stairs leading to the platforms next to the doors led me to believe that they were preserved or restored cabooses. I had wanted to look inside, but the doors were locked. Figuring it was a museum that likely operated only in summer months, I was content to observe them from the outside, but that didn’t stop me from try the doors.
But on Friday I saw that the there were photos on google maps of not just the outsides of the cabooses but also dots that were inside them! So I finally got a tour!
But it wasn’t at all what I’d expected.
I saw newer-looking beds with clean bedspreads. I saw television sets. I saw minifridges.
As I progressed through the first caboose, I realized that these were not true-to-the-era caboose interiors but hotel rooms!
I hadn’t been trying the doors of the temporary homes of people! And they most certainly rent those out in December.
My initial horror has turned into glee, and I’m proud to share this story. It’s one of those that gets the response: “Oh, man. Classic Matt.”