I’ve passed by a sign exclaiming the above entreaty for the last few years but it wasn’t until recently that we were introduced to the group responsible for the sign: Alaska Live Steamers. Last summer our good friends invited us along to the Alaska Live Steamers train ride operation, located next to the Alaska Transportation Museum. For a donation of $4 per person to this nonprofit organization, a trained volunteer will transport you and your family on miniature trains on a 7 1/2 gauge track through a scenic wooded lot. The ride lasts approximately 20 min. Our ride was closer to 30 min., as the train derailed a few times (for a train of this size, it’s not a big deal to derail, they just quickly lift the passenger car back onto the track). Additionally, as the first ride of the day, we stopped at an embankment so that volunteers could put out a herd of plastic dinosaurs. The conductor explained that the dinosaurs had to be brought in each night or the nearby family of foxes would drag them back to their den. Placed throughout the ride, along the track, are various dioramas of sorts: a farm scene, an outhouse, a cabin with a barbie on the porch, a box car with G.I. Joe hanging off the side, a wild west town, and even a run-down barbie mansion that Kevin cutely termed “Neverland”. For more information, as well as dates and times of operation, check out the Club website.

I love the idea behind this club; some hobbyists joined forces and found a way to support their hobby and further their love by providing a service that brings smiles to kids’ (and adults!) faces.