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The world of model railroading and other hobbies

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wow, it's been a long time

Well, as I said early on, model railroading tends to be a fall/winter/bad weather thing.
Because of that, and my hectic work schedule, I have been away from my little world for a while.
A recent trip has given me good reason to put up a brief post and possibly seek some air-conditioned refuge in the old hobby room..
My wife and I recently traveled to Frankenmuth, Mich. Naturally we went to Bronners Christmas Wonderland - touted as the world's largest Christmas store. More on that
But I decided we should try to find a hobby shop in the area ... naturally I had a one-tracked mind at that point. (OK, that one wasn't great, but I never claimed to be a comedian.)
We stopped in at the Frankenmuth Visitors Center and I asked a couple of questions.
I learned of a place called Junction Valley just 15 minutes from where we were, so we plugged the address into the GPS and we were off.
So I find the place calling itself the "Largest Quarter-Size Railroad in the World."
This is a classic example of "Don't judge a book by its cover."

(Don't mind the date on the photo, it was only a few short weeks ago that we took our little journey.)
We pulled into the parking lot amid several large, white, metal buildings. Honestly, it looked a little scary. Pulling in, I immediately noticed a large garage-like building, obviously used for repair work of some sort.
Then I noticed a smaller building - resembling a rather large shed. On the outside ... the words "Hobby Shop." No windows, no fancy exterior, no pretentious adornments ... just a building. Four walls, a roof and a door.
I looked at the wife and taking a deep breath, we both exited the car and headed for the door.
Now, I've been to plenty of hobby shops in my life. I THOUGHT I had seen it all.
Once inside, I felt like I might have a minor episode or sorts. I was in heaven, of only for a visit.
This place was packed from floor to ceiling with model railroading supplies - things I have never seen before, not even in catalogs.
I could easily have spent a day (or 2) in this small, crowded, somewhat dark, beautiful, exciting - I could go on and on - "candy store."
I dropped a few bucks and left with a couple things that I had been looking for but was unable to find. I wonder if they were hoarding it at  Junction Valley ... Hmmm.
Anyway. I picked up a few new items for the SL Valley Railroad - items I will look at and know that they came from Junction Valley - and I'm sure I'll have lots to write about in the coming weeks as I attempt to clear some time in my schedule to get back on track and put these items to good use.
In the meantime, check out Junction Valley Railroad's website and if, by chance, you are looking for something to do, take a little trip to Frankenmuth, Mich., and spend some time in paradise - at least that's what it felt like to me for a couple days.


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