We like to march to the beat of a different drummer here at The Hollow.  Holidays are a wonderful time to take a break, reflect on life and spend time with your friends and family.  And in many cases, holidays are about the kids.

As the Easter weekend approaches, talk almost always turns to Easter egg hunts, chocolates and other various treats.  Watching the little ones scramble around, lifting the tail of the odd bunny here and there, looking for those elusive chocolate eggs is a highlight for many.  We share this fascination with everyone, but tend to look at things through a slightly different lens.  Today’s post most certainly reflects this.

We’re back at the BC Forest Discovery Centre continuing our running photoblog series “The Toad’s Tonka Toys” which features a large series of images we captured during a visit to the museum in late 2011 with our best friends, The Mudpuppies.  It was a wonderful day, filled with really incredible treasures and adventures, and as such we’ve really enjoyed rolling this series out here on our blog.

Caterpillar Tractor - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Caterpillar Tractor - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

No one in their right mind would ride this thing today, that’s for sure.  But, you really have to marvel at the engineering and construction that went into creating this industrial dragon.  The Caterpillar company has been in business for well over 80 years, and is a pioneer in the field of heavy-duty equipment specializing in diesel based power-trains.  These are mighty tough units, capable of the most incredible feats.  If the 3 Little Piggies had this baby available during their encounter with that nasty wolf, they could have saved themselves a lot of breath.  No huffing, no puffing…  just a long chain and a few drops of diesel, and the Bad Wolf’s Lair would have come crashing down as fast as the careers of some famous Hollywood movie stars.

During our visit to the museum when we encountered this tractor, I was so very disappointed.  This particular unit was in such rusty condition that it precluded the very notion of me taking it around the block for a spin.  But, it was early in the visit, and all hope was not entirely lost.

Caterpillar Tractor - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Caterpillar Tractor - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Coming across this particular piece was pretty much tantamount to winning the lottery.  This Caterpillar TEN tractor was in much better condition than the previous unit, and seemed to have most of its paint intact.  Sure, a little rusty, a little crusty, a little weathered…  but, still, rather intact.  I left my bottle of car wax and the wash hose at home, so we couldn’t really spiff this baby up to roll out for a spin.  But, I have to admit, the thought crossed my mind.

This tractor really showcases the grenade-proof aspect of a well-built Cat.  Quite honestly, you would expect to see this one fire right up, billowing a massive diesel cloud into the air as it proclaimed its state of readiness to tackle whatever job was expected of it.

Just as I was searching and searching for the keys, I felt a gentle tug of my shirt.  The Mudpuppy was beckoning me to follow, with a knowing glint in his eye.  I wonder what this might be all about?

Caterpillar Tractor - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Caterpillar Tractor - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

In the playground sat this absolutely incredible and pristine Cat TWENTY.  Complete with an engine for detailing, the tracks were complete and in wonderful shape.  A few modifications had been done to make it suitable for use in the playground, and all these changes were pretty subtle leaving the true essence and character of this wonderful tractor intact.

Like a Siren’s Song beckoning a sailor in the high seas deep in the night, how could I possibly leave now?

Caterpillar Tractor - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Caterpillar Tractor - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Isn’t she beautiful?  Really great colors here, and the Caterpillar badge on the grill really comes alive in this shot.  All the details and textures are just perfect, it’s tailor-made to become the ultimate highlight in the playground.

On the day we visited the weather was picture-perfect, if you will.  Warm and clear, it was a fabulous day to enjoy such lively adventures.  It was nearing the end of the season, so at some points in our visit we pretty much had the entire facility to ourselves.  This worked out rather well; I can’t imagine anyone being comfortable watching a 6′ 3″ Toad hopping about from toy to toy, shouting and going on like a 4-year-old.

One of our favorite parts of writing this blog and posting our photographs is the wonderful stories we’re sent from time to time.  People find these photos and remember spending time here playing on these toys, and then are compelled to write us sharing their story and excitement with finding our site and images.  It’s almost like being able to see these items through the eyes of a child captivated in wide-eyed amazement.  It’s this ability to share, with a single image or impression, a feeling from another time that is so meaningful.  These stories are all heartwarming and inspiring, spurring us on to do what we love to do here at The Hollow.

So as Easter weekend comes upon us we find a lot of happiness in thinking of all the children this weekend, running about exploring and screaming with joy at the treasures and candies they find.  Never lose sight of the inner child in you, for it’s this very wonder that keeps us young.  Life passes by in fleeting moments and it’s really these memories that we all have that hold true value.  No shiny car, no huge mansion can replace this feeling for it must be found within.

When you’re young, the world is a huge place.  We really hope you all have a chance to enjoy your weekend watching the children in your lives as they explore the massive world they find themselves in, even if in truth it’s just in your own backyard.

Happy Easter everyone!

Thank you so much for your visit, it really means so much to us.  As always, we encourage everyone to leave us any comments that you may have as we love to hear from all our visitors.




  1. Another great post Toad, love the detailing of those old Cats

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks Chris, we really appreciate your visit and comments here today! Here’s wishing you the best Easter weekend ever, my good friend!

  2. avatar Edith Levy says:

    And here I thought I was going to see some pics of a cute kitten when I saw the title…LOL. You sure do like your toys toad and you certainly know how to bring out the wonderful details in your images. Have a great holiday weekend.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts… we really appreciate all your friendship here Edith, it means so much!! We really hope you have a great weekend, too, thank you my friend!

  3. avatar Curt Fleenor says:

    Love the details in these cats Toad! Happy holiday weekend to you both!

  4. avatar Adam Allegro says:

    Look at that thing!!!! I have such fond memories of being absolutely obsessed with these as a boy. Thanks for the nostalgiac moment buddy 😛

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      How awesome is this! Thanks, Adam, we really appreciate your visit and comments here, my good friend! Glad we were able to take you for a spin back in time!

  5. avatar Rich McPeek says:

    Wonderful shots Toad! The detail is terrific! I too, like Adam, have great memories of these as a boy and playing with the replicas by Tonka in my sandbox in the back yard! Have a great weekend!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      This is awesome, Rich, thanks for leaving your memories here with us for everyone to enjoy! We really appreciate your visit, my friend, thank you!

  6. avatar Jerry Denham says:

    Some of your best work yet Toad. Love the mid day processing and light. Having some rusty old beasts like these as your subjects is pretty cool, too.

  7. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Really dig how that Caterpiller emblem stands out on the grill! My neighbor growing up used to drive a Caterpiller for a living and I got to ride on a tractor once with him. I was giddy for weeks! I’d love to operate one again. Brought back a lot of memories, Toad! Have a fabulous Easter!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      :). I am so happy to hear of your memories here today, Rick, what a great story to share with everyone! Thanks ever so kindly for your visit, and for taking the time to leave us your thoughts, my friend!

  8. Another wonderful series of shots made all the better by your skill at telling a story. Happy Easter, Toad!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thanks so very, very kindly Mark, we sure do appreciate all your support and friendship here, my friend.

  9. avatar Sabine says:

    Very well thought, said and written! Sabine (@jolicoeur11)

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Oh, thank you for your visit, Sabine, and for taking the time to leave us your comments!! We sure value your friendship and support here, more than you can know. Best wishes, dear friend!

  10. avatar lisa says:

    Fantastic images with such wonderful detail.

  11. Love the headons! What a great place to explore and just reminisce about the good ‘ol days of pushing the Tonka truck and front end loader around the sand box with my big brother. Good times!
    Happy Easter Toad, Hope you and the missus have a great weekend.

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you so very much, Howard, we really appreciate all your support! Wonderful comments my friend, thanks for sharing that with us here for everyone to enjoy!

  12. avatar LensScaper says:

    Great muted beasts from the past. I vividly remember as a small child watching our road being repaired with what we called a Steamroller. There was a huge pile of coal beside the road that few the furnace that heated the water that powered the beast. Magic for a small boy. That small boy is still lurking in me thank goodness and you are so right about memories. They become more important the older we become. Great post, Toad – as always

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      What a fabulous set of comments to leave us all to enjoy, Andy, thank you SO much for your visit and for taking the time to leave those!!! I can literally see your Steamrollers in my mind and even though I am well over 15 years of age I have to admit I LOVE them!! Stay young, my friend. And again, thank you so much for all your friendship and support here, there’s no way we can express how much it means.

  13. avatar Jim Nix says:

    nice work Toad, looks great and love the processing here!