Railroad Park Resort, Dunsmuir

Dunsmuir is a railroad town and what better place to spend the night in Dunsmuir than a caboose?

The resort was first envisioned as a railway museum with a collection of rolling sock. The museum idea fell through. In 1968, the original owners, Bill and Delberta Murphy opened the Railroad Park Resort as a railroad-themed hotel with accommodations being in cabooses.

The resort now has 28 different cabooses to stay in and is a rail fan’s paradise. One prominent feature is the 1927 Willamette three-truck Shay logging locomotive on static display. There are only six of these Willamette locomotives in existence.The Shay rests besides a wooden water tower.

The resort also features a restaurant that is housed in three passenger coaches. Dining was closed due to the pandemic but was open for take out with caboose-delivery. I was treated with a tasty ravioli and a Caesar salad.

To represent the Railroad Park Resort in my journal I decided to paint the Shay and the water tower near the entrance to the park (featured sketch). For this approach I pulled up a sketching chair near the soothing water fountain and I decided to block in the shapes of the locomotive and water tower in loose, broad paint strokes. I was not so concerned with fitting the entire locomotive on the page, nor was I interested in rendering every detail. This is the sort of painting that if a bystander where to look over my shoulder, would think I have the artistic talent of a brown trout. But out this spattered chaos, you slowly form the image with pen work, once the paint has dried.

The challenge of drawing a Shay is the complexities of it gears. It you look at it as a whole it is daunting but if you break it down to small, manageable shapes, it is doable.

My caboose for two nights and the epic Castle Crags in the background. (This caboose will feature in a different post).
The water tender of the three truck Shay with the water tower in the background.

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