Choo choo cha-choo

We recently traveled to the Vernal, UT area to put my father-in-law’s remains to rest. We were invited, after the service, to go “ride the train” at my husband’s uncle’s brother’s house (still with me?). Unsure exactly what to expect, and honestly picturing a riding lawn mower towing a wagon or something similar, we went.

And you know what we found? THE COOLEST GROWN UP EVER!

This is, literally, his front yard. The railroad crossing goes over his driveway.

Niles Mott, known as the “train guy” around town, is one adult who is doing it right. He grew up loving trains in a part of our great land that has no trains. So one day, when he was all grown up, he put in his own gosh darn train. To summarize: No train. Wanted train. Put in train in HIS YARD. What.

You can read the deets at the Vernal Express. He not only laid his own track. He MADE the track. WHAT!

1800 feet of track!

Water fountain in the forefront and water tower in the distance

Niles’s wife, Connie (who is fantastic in her own right), told him she wanted a water fountain. She said, “And Niles never does anything halfway.” Yeah, I think I’m beginning to catch on. Above is a picture of the “little” water fountain — wheel and all.

Niles and Connie invite preschools, church groups, random distant-and-possibly-not-at-all-related relations over to ride the Tonopah Express. And they charge nothing, in spite of how much this little hobby costs. They do it for the love of trains and community and family.

This is who I want to be should I choose grow up.

And they gave 4 kids — who were having a pretty rough day — a fun adventure to remember and a distraction from their grief. Doing it right.


7 thoughts on “Choo choo cha-choo

  1. Doing it right, alright! Hugs to you and your family, and hats off to him and his family (er, that would be all of you too, I’d guess). Is your husband’s uncle’s brother still your husband’s uncle?I get so confused!

    • It’s my husband’s uncle-by-marriage’s brother. So I don’t think we’re actually related to him legally speaking. But he grew up with my father-in-law and has a train in his backyard. I’m willing to claim him.

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