Modelers and fans had already gathered in the gym at St. Pius' Parish Center. The activities were conducted in a somewhat smaller area than last year, and the silent auction seemed particularly crowded. Clinics on weathering, kitbashing and treemaking were conducted next door to the auction. Modeling and photography constests were in a dark corner of the gym. I entered a couple of black and white pictures and got first and third places.
In addition to the vendors, RITS had its display set up and there were two small working layouts. One was a regular N-Trak outfit, the other a new standard popular in Japan called T-Trak.
I stuck around until the last of the door prizes were given away and the contest awards presented. There were just a handful of us left at that point. John Averill, who did the tree clinic, announced that he wasn't sure there'd be another Great Midwestern Meet, since very few people were willing to do the work to put the meet on, although attendance seemed to still be pretty good, around 250 persons showed up Saturday.
After the meet there were several home layouts and one club layout open. My plan was to pick up Susan and head back to Des Moines for the RITS meeting later in the evening. One of the layouts was close to my line of travel, that of Paul Proska in Pleasant Hill. Paul's layout is based on the NS/BNSF branch line from Albia up to Des Moines, and the Des Moines end of the line is mostly underconstruction. Paul did have a nice start on the Younkers warehouse, today known as Brown-Camp Lofts.
I drove back down to Hwy. 92, east under the railroad and south to my wooden bridge observation point at the south end of the siding. The train came very slowly down to the siding switch and stopped to let the conductor drop off and line the switch for the main. After he was back aboard, they proceded southward at about 5:15. I got a couple of shots as they went under the bridge and rounded the corner on their way to Kanas City.