The title of the last two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation that aired in May of 1994 simply said it in their title: “All Good Things”.
Over the last 15+ years I’ve scratched at building a model railroad of the prototype Yosemite Valley. Hence the name here of the 78 Miles to Yosemite. I figured it was going to be a long trek. Along the way, I’ve run into some challenges, some learning, had some setbacks, and made some stops to learn things about railroading. I’ve started my version of the YV with benchwork no fewer than 6 times in that span, and taken a few moments to work on other railroads for other reasons.
I went from copying the plan to model August of 1939 that my friend Jack does, to modeling August of 1928, and changed scale from HO to Proto48. I’ve adjusted what I do or how I do them to meet my vision challenges, figuring the jump of 8 times larger in scale (volume wise) would mean much extended time for the kind of modeling I want to do.
But my eyes are not waiting for me, and my plans are not getting any closer to modeling the YV. Yes, the locomotive and a caboose would could say Yosemite Valley on them, but the track plans and the structures that I could use to speed things along, those aren’t Yosemite Valley.
Even my friend Jack has checked in to see if I’ve changed prototypes recently.
My vision is not getting better, and while I can see details or see car numbers or other things necessary for modeling with vision aids, the hand-eye coordination or the ability to access the tools necessary, like my drill press, or a saw safely, are either not possible anymore or not safe, and I want to have operating model railroads.
The end of the phrase that The Next Generation used for the title to their last two episodes is “must come to an end”.
In the time I have to build things before I can’t do the work, I’m giving myself permission to be a freelance modeler. I’m going to model a railroad in Proto48 that I can build. I’m going to keep pushing forward on my 365 day challenge and solve some of my own created issues there. I’m going to create 3 fake towns, one in HO, one in Proto48, and one in British O. I’m going to have model railroads.
Knowing a railroad well is a bonus and a curse. Making a model fit is the curse, and those who can do it, even better. As for me, the time I have for modeling is not forever, and I have things that I want to do, so I’m going to do them, build what is in my vision range, and have fun.
I’ll end with a quote from Alexander Graham Bell:
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.
I don’t plan to quit studying and learning about the YV. It’s near and dear to my heart. If you walk through our house, there are many scenes of the Yosemite Valley on the walls, special places on bookshelves for YV resources, and that’s not going to change. There are also scenes of Halifax in 1914 and trains serving the docks, logging railroads, and others. I plan to not hold on so tight to a plan that I can’t get to the door that has opened for me and to wisely walk through that door.
I plan to continue to share my plans on this blog. The name may change soon to more closely reflect what I’m doing. That said, lets’ see what the next chapter holds.