Tag Archives: Salt Lake City

Model Train Room Celebration Cake

My husband and I became volunteer managers of an HO Scale train room, at our area’s Senior Recreation Center last year.  This meant fixing the railroad track, so the model trains would run again.  Also, an ongoing project is to create scenes that bring back our childhood memories of an era when we paid 59 cents a gallon for gasoline.

train room copy

After many months of time and effort, our train room was ready to be shown off to visitors, including our city’s Mayor and Council Members.  The Salt Lake Tribune reporter labeled our accomplishments, “a gem in the heart of West Valley City.”

In celebration of our Model Train Room grand re-opening, I created a special cake for the occasion.

train cake copy

The bottom layer is two lemon cake mixes baked in 9 x 13 inch pans with green tinted whipped cream for grass color and white whipped cream with graham cracker crumbs for the ground coloring.

The train engine is a chocolate cake mix baked in two loaf pans and a mini-loaf pan.  I filled one loaf pan 3/4 full, so it would puff up higher and rounder to make the boiler.   The second loaf pan was filled 1/2 full to make the coal tender.  The mini-loaf pan cake was tipped on end for the engine.

Three mini-donuts were covered with chocolate frosting for the smoke stack.  A gold foil wrapped Rollo candy is the train bell and red licorice added trimming.  Oreo cookies (without the filling) were used for the train wheels with life savers in the center.  Crushed Oreo cookies were used for the tender’s coal.  Carmel Corn was threaded on a stiff wire that was bent to simulate the smoke and then inserted into the mini-donut smoke stack.  Licorice created the train track and a picture of Mickey Mouse was inserted for the train engineer.

My inspiration for this train cake came from the many great ideas shown on this website: http://www.coolest-birthday-cakes.com.   Please let me know if you have any questions on the assembly of this fun cake.

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Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Why is Jackson commonly called Jackson Hole?  Fur trappers living in Jackson, coined the term “hole” which describes the entire valley ringed by mountains.
Ranching in Jackson wasn’t very prosperous, so settlers served as guides and packers for hunting to supplement their incomes.  Others realized that dudes winter better than cows and began operating dude ranches.

TheYellowstone & Rodeo 001 copy Grand Teton mountain range is a National Park that we enjoy visiting often.  We couldn’t think of a more memorable way of celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary, than in this gorgeous area.  It takes about 5 hours to drive from our home in Salt Lake City.  Another favorite National Park, Yellowstone is only 50 miles from Jackson, WY.

Bronc Riding RodeoChildren grow up competing in rodeo events and watching youngsters ride bulls and wild horses is exciting to watch.  Our special favorite is the mutton busting.  Children around the ages of 5 through 8 years old ride on lambs that try to buck them off.  The little riders hang on so tight that some won’t let go even if they have slipped  and are riding underneath the lamb. Our grandsons earned mutton busting trophies, among their many accomplishments.

jenny lakeJenny Lake is fed by the Teton mountain’s glaciers and the crystal clear lake seems bottomless.  Boat shuttles will take you to the Cascade Canyon Trailhead to enjoy the hike up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. Walking along the many trails around the lake is a peaceful way to take more pictures of nature like snakes and other wild things.  The lodge was originally a dude ranch and some of the cabins are from the 1920’s.

Bar J group copyThe Bar J Wranglers have a western bar-b-que and entertainment dinner show that is a highlight of our Wyoming western experience. The working ranch has been in the family for generations. It’s also a perfect reason to wear our cowboy outfits and hats. We may have been born n’ raised in Wisconsin, but when “out west” we have to dress the part.
Also, don’t miss riding in a covered wagon. It’s the cowboy way!


50th Anniversary Trip to Jackson, WY 034 copyBar J wagon copy

Visiting all the 59 National Parks is on our bucket list, but some places deserve a visit more than once.