December 16 - 18, 2002, L.A., Calif. & February 23, 2003, Jamestown, Calif.

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI

Me mugging for the camera on the caboose Marty and Doc snagged in BTTF3....

About two months after the L.A. DVD Trip, I found myself back in California again -- but this time in Northern California -- for a job fair in the Bay area. (I am interested in moving down to Northern California and am seriously pursuing teaching positions in the general area as of this original writing.) So I flew down to Sacramento the last weekend in February and was able to stay with Nicole and her family. (It's cheaper to fly from Portland to Sacramento than Portland to San Francisco.) I love driving, so the idea of driving 70 miles for the job fair on Saturday didn't faze me too much. The cost of a rental car for 4 days did. Damn 25-year-old age requirement.... (It costs more to rent if you're under that age -- which I was, by less than a year.)

Anyway, I opted to fly down on a Friday morning, after teaching my first period class at the high school, and return home on Monday evening. The job fair was Saturday, pretty much all morning, which meant I had a completely free day on Sunday. Nicole and I thought it would be neat to drive to Sonora and Jamestown -- which are right next to each other -- to see where BTTF3 was filmed. Nicole's friend, Mike, came along for the adventure.

That whole area is very pretty, and the surrounding hills and scenery looked just like the stuff in the third film. Sonora was this cute little town with 100-year-old buildings, etc, that rolled up sidewalks early. Jamestown was pretty much the same way. We arrived at the Railtown Museum at 4:30, after some delays, wrong turns, and a late start on the drive. Of course, this is when the museum closed. Fortunately, for us, we ran into a nice guy who worked there and he told us that we could wander around outside and in the big barn-like structure where they house the larger trains. All the stuff we really cared about seeing was outside, anyway.

A word about the photos -- I was super pissed because my nice camera decided to have a case of spontaneous failure. (It worked fine later, when I tried it again. AHHHHH!) Fortunately, I had a back up cheapie camera in my bag, but I lament the nice photos I could have snagged if it had been working properly. Nicole's digital camera helped a lot, though.

Sadly, we did not see the actual site of the 1885 town. The town burned flat to the ground in 1996, due to a lighting strike (irony!) and we had absolutely no clue where it was constructed, either.

The Trains of 1885

Engine 131 -- The "Borrowed" Train

This is what the train that they used in BTTF3 looks like now. It's in pieces! Apparently, according to the gentleman who worked there, they had taken it apart to do some restoration, then ran out of some grant money, so it's stuck like that! Sniff....

The Woodcar

The woodcar, unlike the locomotive itself, was not in pieces, and was in fact just parked outside.

Engine 131 -- Accessories & Train Cab

Here are some shots of the train's cab -- which is outside for photo ops. I tried to reenact Clara's escape in one.... There are also a few pieces used specifically in BTTF3, with the "131" number on it. They were located in the backlot-ish area with....

The Train Caboose

...The red train caboose! Apparently this was created especially for BTTF3. We had lots of fun mugging for the camera on this prop....

The Passenger Car

This would be the car that Clara was in when she slammed the train to a hault with that emergency break. Nicole and I climbed onto the back and peered in through the windows to confirm the interior shots, and took some, which was no small task considering the sun was setting and we had to contend with the challenge of having a glare on the window from the flashes of our cameras....

The Tracks

These are some photos of the tracks near the Rail Museum. We were using wishful thinking in trying to find the switch track that Marty used, to no avail. Oh well.... We lacked time, daylight, and specific direction to find the stretches actually used in the filming. Maybe next time....