Today we arranged to meet John Olson who is on two email lists that I am on (Live Steamers & Model Engineering).
It was good to finally speak to him in person after holding conversations via email for several years. John invited Larry and I over to his house to tour his shop and view some of his projects. The main project John is working on is a two cylinder compound steam engine that he plans to mount in a 30 foot long boat which he also plans to build in his walk-out basement. Many shops don't have a shaper - John has three! They range in size from a 2,000 odd pound heavyweight to a baby sized model. John uses the shapers to do a lot of what Larry and I would do on a milling machine.
|John with his steam launch engine.|
|View from John's living room. If you click on the photo to get the larger version you'll see the Sky Tower on the Auckland skyline (the tall tower in the center). Our hotel was about 200 meters from the base of the tower. Read more about our visit to the Sky Tower below.|
After visiting John's house he drove us to the Manukau Live Steamers where we met up with Dave who was testing his 3.5" scale (7.25" gauge) Shay locomotive Enterprise which will be with us throughout the trip for tour members to operate.
In the fall of 2000 Dave and a group of people transported this locomotive to the USA for the IBLS 2000 tour. Joan and I were also on the IBLS tour which was some three weeks in length. We ran on tracks from central California to Vancouver, BC. This is where Joan and I first met Dave and his wife Lynne.
Larry and I had a chance to meet with the Manukau members and preview the track before the official tour visit which was to be on the following Saturday. The Manukau members made us feel very much at home.
By the way, while Larry and I were at John's house and the Manukau track Joan and Elaine were touring Auckland and checking out the shopping.
|Here I am at the throttle of Enterprise for a tour around the track at the Manukau Live Steamers facility.|
|Here's Larry trying his hand running the Shay.|
After we finished at the track Lynne took Larry and I back to the hotel to join Joan and Elaine.
We decided to have dinner at one of the restaurants over 600 feet up on the Sky Tower overlooking the city of Auckland.
|The Sky Tower as viewed from below. On the other side they have a 'ride' where you fall from a platform with a cable attached to you that slows you down as you reach the bottom - none of us were willing to give it a try !!!|
|A view of the Auckland skyline from the Sky Tower|
|Another skyline view ...|
|Here is a view straight down while I was standing on one of the glass tiles in the floor. A sign on the wall says that the glass tiles are stronger than the concrete floor but it takes you awhile to get used to the uneasy feeling !!!|
|Click Here||Larry and I were in for a shock when we went to use the men's room in the Sky Tower. Definitely different !!!|
Next day: December 29