The first steam boat on Mono Lake was "The Rocket". A little 35 footer that ended up being purchased by the railroad. Very little is known about her, the serial number, that it was built in San Francisco, operated on the Bay, was sold, disasembled and shipped to Mono, resold, and finally abandoned after a storm on the lake. It was known to be hauled out of the water for winter, and we have the names of the operators. It figured early on in the road's construction hauling supplies, rail, ties and whatnot to Warm Springs. It and a few barges also help a prominent spot in an early strike by white workers protesting the Chinamen hired by the road. The management hauled the Chinese workers to the safety of Pahoa Island with a few weeks supplies until the protesters gave in and accepted lower wages.
Needing a break from grading and landscaping (an endless expanse of sand and sage for most of the road's lower elevations around Mono Lake, broken in a handful of spots) I raided several drawings from the Sketch-up community and started modifying like crazy. The little 35' steam propellor (steam boat to you and I) resembles small steamers pretty closely that were on rivers, bays, and harbors in the in the latter half of the 1800's. Getting the triangles down has been a challenge, especially on the boiler and motor as the Sketch-up models were part-by-part complete internally. They've quite a ways to go yet for the detail models, the steamer's still at over 8600 triangles.
The Barge is based on the aft half of the ALMA (a surviving S.F. Bay Scow Schooner), with the gunnels cut away to create a flush deck. Barges like this were very common on both the rivers and San Francisco Bay during the period. It's length is 60', with about an 18' beam. It's at 894 triangles. These could have had decks or not. I chose a deck to simplify modeling and reduce the poly count though it probably would have been wide open. It's modeled to resemble typical scow barges fairly closely. The were flat floored to both ease construction and rest on the bottom during low tides....an ideal design for loading without the need for docks in primitive areas.
When I start learning G-MAX these will be included...after I get usage permissions from the Sketch-up modelers for the hull, boiler, and motor. A couple barges either in the water or hauled up on the beach as well as "The Rocket" will add much needed interest to Warm Springs. Both the Rocket and the barge would be at home on Andrew's Colusa & Lake too.
Back to landscaping, gradiing, and high altitude deserts.