People looking for a pleasant way to spend a summer evening will want to know about Dinner & Music on the Train, a special sunset train ride beside the Grande Ronde and Wallowa Rivers. The Eagle Cap Excursion Train departs from the Elgin Depot Saturday, July 18, at 4:30 p.m., for this rare opportunity to see the river landscape at dusk.
Passengers will be treated to acoustic fiddle and bluegrass tunes, performed by Carla Arnold, Erin Morgan and Mike Evans. The meal, prepared by Ten Depot Street Restaurant of La Grande, is served as the train winds in and out of shadow, beside the sparkling waters. The twilight scenery is especially beautiful in the canyon, when the light is long and golden and wildlife ventures out of hiding. The ride returns to the Elgin Depot at about 9:30 p.m. Even if the day is hot, riders are advised to bring a jacket in case the evening mountain air feels chilly. Prices range from $45 to $80.
The excursion train was given lots of TLC during the off season. Having received an exterior paint job last fall, this spring the interiors of two passenger cars were painted, seats were reupholstered in the coach car, and tables were replaced in the dining car. Volunteers say the train equipment is in the best condition since it came with the railroad when the latter was purchased in 2004 by the governments of Wallowa and Union Counties.