June 21st, 2017


June 21--Colfax and KBr

I got up fairly early and drove back up to my step-sister's to spend some more time with my dad. He's up there all week and just hanging around the pool. I got there at about 9:30 and we had coffee and sat outside with my step-sister. She had to go to an appointment, so my dad and I got in the car and headed up the road about 15 miles to the town of Colfax.


Colfax is a small town along Highway 80, on the way to Reno. It was, they say, an important staging area for the building of the section of the transcontinental railroad line that went over the Sierra Nevada mountains. My dad heard there was a museum here and wanted to take a look. He thought it was a rail museum, but it was really just a collection of old stuff from the town.

rail map

They did have some rail maps, though, and my dad showed me the route he took when he worked on the mail train back in the early 1960s. He says it was the best post office job he ever had. They would load up the mail in Oakland and sort it along the way, as well as collecting mail from the different towns. He says the work didn't really take very much time, and they spent most of their time eating and playing cards as they headed over the mountains. The would stay overnight in a $2 hotel in Winnemucca Nevada, and head back the next day. Eventually it was less expensive to send mail via trucks and air, and they discontinued the rail post office service.

One of the interesting things in the museum was a collection of medicine bottles from the old pharmacy that closed years ago. I took some pictures to toss into my lecture slides. I love old medical stuff like that.


Potsssium bromide, which was once used to control seizures. Now it is used only in animals.

After the museum we had some lunch, and then headed back down to Holly's and hung out by the pool and talked for a while. I think it was the longest time he and I have spent together without other people around in years and years. It was a good visit.

I headed back down to the valley and the 110 degree temperatures. I had closed all the curtains at home, and the house was nice and cool. In the evening I met with my landscape guy to talk about the back yard.
  • Current Music
    Felice Brothers--Diamond Bell