Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hamfests and Ghost Trains

This weekend looks to be a busy one for us. First thing early Saturday morning we have a Hamfest to attend. For our hiking friends, a Hamfest is an event where amateur (ham) radio operators gather together to sell equipment, check out and buy equipment from radio vendors, attend classes, seminars, and demonstrations, and hope to win a cool door prize. Not much different than an Outdoor Retailer type event, just on a smaller scale. The biggest thing about these events however are the food and fellowship amongst other Hams. Anyway, this weekend is the Ten-Tec Hamfest in Sevierville, TN. We will be up there early in the morning trying to sell some Ham gear for a friend of ours who's husband went SK (silent key, aka passed away) earlier this year. There's plenty of good radio gear to purchase and you'd also be helping out a fellow ham/widow with some of her expenses. So be sure to come out if you are in the area and are a ham or even want to be a ham. They give amateur radio exams during the hamfest, too.

Courtesy of BSFNRRA
The next big thing on our plates for this weekend is the First Annual Ghost Train up at Big South Fork NRRA and Big South For Scenic Railway. The scenic railway is located in Stearns, Kentucky and takes groups down to the Blue Heron mining community in the Big South Fork for tours of the area.

This weekend for the Ghost Train, visitors wanting take the tour will be delighted with the train ride to Blue Heron. From there, all guests will be separated into several groups and assigned a guide to walk around to different spots around the community. At each stop there will be a storyteller with a story ranging from spooky to mysterious, intriguing and haunted.

The cost for this event is $12 for adults and $6.00 for children under 12. Visitors are asked to arrive by 6:30pm on Saturday September 24th and the train will depart the Big South Fork Scenic Railway Station in Stearns, KY at 7:00pm. The storytelling portion is expected to last 1.5 hours with the train arriving back at the Stearns Station at approximately 9:30pm. You can drive straight to Blue Heron for the event skipping the train ride all together, but who'd want to do that? If you do, staff requests that you arrive at the Blue Heron site by 7:15pm. Additionally, it is suggested that all guests bring a small flashlight for the event and wear comfortable walking shoes.

For more information on the Blue Heron Mining community, you can check out an older post of ours when we visited the site for the day. For information on the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, call (800) 462-5664 or visit the Scenic Railway website at For more information on the ghost train event, you may call the Bandy Creek Visitor Center at (423) 286-7275 or the Stearns Visitor Center at (606) 376-5073. You can also make reservations for the event over the phone with the Scenic Railway at the 800 number above. However, there are 400 seats available on the train so there should be enough room. Hopefully we will see you there.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin