A Railroad Tycoon’s RV

February 21st, 2009

Jay Gould's Exquisite Railway Car

What do you get when you combine one of Jenn’s favorite games (Railroad Tycoon) and the RV lifestyle? You get a railroad car fitted out for fulltiming! That’s just what we found as we were passing through Jefferson, Texas a couple of weeks ago. The Garden Club has acquired the personal car of Jay Gould, a railroad tycoon, and restored it to something close to it’s original splendor.

The car had four staterooms for passengers, two of which were adjoining with a bathroom, including tub and shower between them. The others all had their own plumbing, even if a bit primitive by modern standards. There was a couch as well as a pullman bed in each of the staterooms. The car would be able to take on water at the same water depots that the train used. We didn’t ask, but I assume the black and gray water would have been simply dumped along the tracks as soon as it was generated.

There were two rooms devoted to cooking with a pass through between them. Based on the layout, I would assume that the car originally had bunks for two servants, but only one of the kitchen cars still had a pullman berth at the ceiling. The icebox had something I think we could all use today, a glass door. How often have you opened the fridge and stared at what was there while deciding what you wanted?

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Virginia Boonies

May 4th, 2008

Saturday was spent at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, but Jenn will be posting about that soon. After we left Monticello, we needed to make some miles southward. We didn’t luck across any obviously great camp sites like Lake Frederick, but it turns out that the general rule of thumb in Virginia is that you can stay on WMA (wildlife management area) lands for up to 14 days.

Virginia has a ton of WMA’s. A list can be found here. I’d still suggest checking the individual WMA rules before heading that way, but Virginia has at least one class of public land that is boondocker friendly.

We ended up camping at the James River WMA near the thriving town of Wingina, VA; population – some, but not many. It’s not the prettiest place we’ve stayed, but the price is right (free) and the neighbors have either four legs or wings.