This is the question I have been dying to answer. Since my daughter turned three last September, I have made it my life goal to take her on as many day hikes as humanly possible. This has become increasingly difficult due to weather, time, and most recently illness (she got pneumonia).

Despite all these challenges, we've hiked around 20 times now since she joined me outdoors six months ago. Of course, this is nowhere near the amount of time I spend outdoors but given that she's only three, this is pretty good going already!

A couple of weeks ago, we were lucky enough to go for a hike in Brocks Falls Conservation Area which is located not far from where we live in Ontario Canada. It was a beautiful, sunny day and I was hopeful that we'd have another safe trip outdoors.

Shortly after arriving at the parking lot, she started to complain of smelling something stinky in the air. After about five minutes it became apparent what the source of the smell was... two very large piles of bear scat were located almost directly behind where she had been playing just moments prior. Of course, our hike would have to be cut short... but not before I snapped a few pictures for reference! There are many hiking carriers for 3 years old.

Although these wildflowers are well past their prime in early summer, they still look pretty amazing when taken into consideration that this is basically a gravel pit with trails running through it. For all you railfans out there, this place has got to be heaven on Earth. You have a highway below you to look out for trains as well as a yard and two small passing sidings to keep an eye on. Not too far away is the famous Henry's Tunnel, a popular spot for local railfans to shoot pictures of passing locomotives! Be sure that you don't forget your camera!

This particular picture was taken from atop the Southfield Highway overpass looking down at the backwater siding located behind North Yard. Trains used this short stretch of track all day long to hold onto their train until it was time to pull into North Yard to switch out crews, pick up/drop off cars or drop off locomotives for service. These are the best hiking carriers for 3 years old.

In all honesty, I was not aware of how long this particular Marklin train set had been in my possession or the history behind it. One weekend I decided to indulge and start digging into this vintage piece only to find that it was no ordinary Marklin train set! In fact, what I found out is that this rare Marklin train set is a complete replica of the famous Milwaukee Road CNW-UP Green Goat (CNW-UP) transcontinental railroad route through Wyoming with a total length of forty-three feet with an additional six feet for the hidden power pack. As you can see in some of these pictures below, there are running lights on each end as well as marker lights on top front and back.

The hidden power pack also allows the locomotive to make a couple of different sounds as it pulls the car. In total, this rare set has four elements: a locomotive with tender, a baggage/passenger car, a dome lounge, and a dining car. All three cars have functioning interior lights that can be turned on via a remote or by opening up the doors on the passenger car to reveal two small switches inside for each door. The Marklin site describes these as "O" gauge trains from 1978-1990 which I was able to find out from one of our fans at Interestingly enough though is that according to the internet, there were only seven other known sets created in Germany and never exported! You can see more close-up images of the different sections below as well as some onboard footage on this train.

This set was actually packed away among several other toy trains in the attic of my childhood home up until about ten years ago when I rediscovered it and had all the pieces carefully packed into storage boxes. Unfortunately, some of the original packaging is now worn out so for display purposes I created custom cardboard covers with images of the train printed onto card stock paper. The same goes for the small white remote that comes with the set which required me to take an old generic universal remote control and then use bits and parts from two different remotes I already own (a real pain). All in all, this is a pretty cool find given its rarity! What do you think? How much would you spend if you saw it up for sale?
This is the first time I have seen this set for sale out of its original packaging. Second, it has all the pieces including the rare voltage transformer, battery car, and connections so it can be operated right out of the box! The last piece I saw online was broken up into two lots totaling $999 CAD which included only the locomotive and tender. Third, other than needing to clean some dust off, everything looks pretty much intact. There are even stickers that still look great after 30+ years! Fourth, not many other people have these sets 'in their collection' as far as I know. For More Information Click Here.