Above is a scan of a photograph I took in around 1977 and it shows the stately Mark Twain at her dock in Frontierland.
Hint: look above the trees behind the Mark Twain.
It looks a bit strange to see the Frontierland skyline without the now-familiar peaks of Big Thunder Mountain.
When the above photograph was taken, the only train you could ride near "Big Thunder" (falls, that is) was the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland.
By September 1979, however, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad would take its place as the newest Disneyland "mountain."
In honor of my old attraction BTMM (and the many hours I spent asking, "how many in your party?" before directing guests to their seats), I offer you Jungle readers the following article from the Spring 1980 edition of Disney News (with thanks to author, Tom Fitzgerald). [NOTE: If you click on the article, you should be able to access a nice blow-up that you can actually read!].
I was reminded of BTMM days when I saw that an old cast member friend's daughter had found this blog and passed along her thanks for sharing an old photograph of "mom" back in the 1980s. The Cast Member was Jackie Lacey and I rarely saw her in anything other than a Thunder costume! Sure, she had the occasional "Tiki" or Treehouse shifts, but mainly Jackie worked Big Thunder [along with such famous Cast Members as "Doug," Janet Mondragon, and Sue Barnaby (aka "Sue B.")].
That reminds me of a BTMM story.
Word was that a certain Imagineer broke his foot during the BTMM build. To commemorate this event, a rock in the shape of a casted foot was supposedly included in the attraction alongside the tracks. Another tall tale from an old prospector? Well, sir, I'm not so sure. Next time you take a notion to ride ol' Thunder, you be sure to keep your eyes a' peeled...