Sunday, October 9, 2016

My Cal Poly Day

Today I had the honor of participating in the annual Cal Poly Day at Swanton Pacific Ranch near Davenport, CA, in coastal Santa Cruz County. My friend Ted Weber is the head architect at the site and invited our mutual friend Marty Self and myself to join him for the occasion. All three of us are graduates of Cal Poly SLO. The ranch here was bequeathed to Cal Poly by an alumni, Al Smith, who transformed Orchard Supply Hardware into what it has become before selling it to another company. He liked railroads and bought up all the various remaining parts of the Overfair Railroad that was created for the Pan-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco. He then relocated it to the ranch and set up there on a new 1/3 scale railroad system which he christened the Swanton Pacific Railroad which we were able to ride on today. We also took a tour of Smith's simple yet functional home which our host Ted has designed the additions and enhancements to as well as other structures on the property either upgraded or built anew with more such projects here on the way.
*Note: this property and the surrounding area provided timber for lumber used to rebuild San Francisco and environs following the 1906 Earthquake & Fire.

Today was the first time I experienced any sort of sense of honor or privilege from being an alumni of Cal Poly and it was kinda cool.
A couple of Cal Poly coeds sawing competitively.
While we waited for our train ride there were things to watch or look at like this old jeep.....
.... and some old cars being looked at by two old men.
All aboard!
This was the turn-around point of the ride with the engine moving up to pull the train back to the station the other direction.
Marty gellin' like a felon.
Al Smith's residence (with Ted Weber-designed upgrades and additions).
I have a thing for curio cabinets and was immediately drawn to Smith's cabinets.
Ohlone Indian artifacts from the ranch and vicinity. 
More Ohlone Indian artifacts from the ranch and vicinity. 
I still remember the Lockheed Fire monitoring it from afar at the time but didn't realize it burned 1,100 acres of the ranch.
The burn area of the Lockheed Fire is still visible around the ranch as seen here from the area of the rail station. 
This beautfiul covered patio area is adjacent to the Smith House and overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
Our friend Ted Weber designed the structure. 
He also designed this beautiful barbecue structure. 
Marty pointed out this is a "Weber" grill in the truest sense. 
I felt like the odd man out not wearing a Hawaiian shirt today while hanging out with my church home group home boys which was all the more ironic given I have been an avid Hawaiian shirt aficionado for much of my adult life. 
All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved). 

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