The New Mexico Tech Industrial Archeology Club ventured up to San Jose, CA to attend the SIA Conference in San Jose, CA. The only members in attendance were the president and I. We left a storm chase in Oklahoma and drove across TX, NM, and AZ. Neither of us had ever been to California, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect
After spending the night in Kingman, AZ, we ventured into CA. After a number of hours of driving, we decided to have lunch in a little town at a restaurant called the ‘Apple Barn.’ From there, we learned of a place called the Tehachapi Loop, where trains circle a mountain and pass under themselves, almost as if they were spiraling down a drain. Here are a few photos of the Tehachapi Loop, the one with the green arrows indicates one direction of train travel, to give you an idea of how this loop works.
Near the loop was another historical marker noting the location of the 1932 flood, which pushed a train off its tracks here. The interesting thing is that the locomotive bell was never found…
We drove on to San Jose, thus ending the day.
The first part of the conference was dedicated to tours of various industrial sites. The president and I did different tours, and one of these days, we’ll have to compare photos. The first part of my tour was the Port of Oakland.
The next stop was a tour of the SS Red Oak Victory, which is being renovated in Richmond, CA. There is a new park honoring ‘Rosie the Riveter’ which contains this ship, a shipyard, and a bunch of other support buildings. This facility produced 787 Liberty and Victory ships. They also set the record for quickest ship construction: 4 days and 16 hours from a pile of steel to a floating ship to be outfitted!
Naturally, my favorite part of the SS Red Oak Victory was the radio room. It had been mostly restored, and had a radio operator present at all times to send radiograms for free.
On site at the Rosie the Riveter Monument was an old Ford plant that was used as a tank depot during WWII. It had been recently retrofitted with earthquake reinforcement supports. There was also a nifty concrete warehouse on site.
We also toured the actual monument, but my camera battery was dead at this point.
The second day was the actual conference. We sat in on the talks and then went for a ride to Santa Cruz. I had never been to the Pacific Ocean, so we waded into the ocean. After that, we cruised up CA 1, with the Pacific to our left.
After a while, we reached the Pigeon Point Lighthouse and accompanying hostel.
We drove through San Francisco, and crossed the Bay Bridge. Once on the other side, we snapped a few photos. I got one of the bridge and one of SF at night:
Thus concluded our trip to San Jose and the SIA 2008 Conference. We ventured home, stopping briefly to meet with my old friend, Scott, who lived in Fresno. Back to the daily grind…