Pumpkin Express: Seasonal Skunk Train

Redwoods, a winding path through the forest, and a take-home pumpkin, too, are part of the Fort Bragg fun time.

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CHOO-CHOO, THEN CHOOSE: Not everything that has "express" in its name is automatically filled with wonder and holiday joy, but, in certain storybooks, and films, "express" can suggest a trip to somewhere magical and unusual. Granted, a place brimming with pumpkins isn't all that rare, especially around October, but taking a train to that place is rare, and if the train happens to rock the word "express" in its very name? You can count on something a bit enchanting to be woven through what might be just another weekend errand back at home. If you want to make the pumpkin pick-up a little more photo-ready and memory-worthy in 2017, look north, to Fort Bragg, and one of its most rail-tastic attractions: the Skunk Train. Like some locomotive out of a kid's book, the Skunk Train doesn't just chug along to city, at least in the autumn; it stops for pumpkin fun time. So board the Pumpkin Express, ride along, savor the redwood-packed sights, then hop off at Clare Mill Station and choose your perfect orange globe. The dates still to come are...

OCT. 15 AND OCT. 29, a pair of Sundays. The whole round trip won't take up your entire day — think two hours and 30 minutes, thereabouts — and you'll definitely get to head back to Fort Bragg with a pumpkin on your lap (and, if you've got your pumpkin with you, he or she will have a pumpkin on his or her lap, too). "Everyone gets their own fall pumpkin," in short, and you'll "... enjoy some tasty fall treats." But can enjoying something with "express" in the name make you feel as though you've entered a fairy tale? That's up to you, and your imagination, but taking a train to pick out a pumpkin is not an activity found in our everyday, workaday world. It's something special, and seasonal, and so very Skunky, too.

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