Not long ago we were saddened to learn of the passing of one our favorite people on the Thunder Mountain Line. LA “Flash” Gordon was a delightful, engaging man, full of life and wit. He often acted as gracious host to passengers on the train’s executive car, serving wine and cheese and regaling guests with true stores from Idaho’s untamed history.
If you had the privilege to ride with LA, you probably heard him tell his favorite story. In the 1860’s, Big Dave Updyke was the crooked sheriff of Ada County, suspected of many crimes and accused of several more. History says he and his gang robbed a stage coach of thousands of dollars of gold and retreated into the wilderness. A citizen’s posse eventually cornered Big Dave, hanging him and an accomplice. The gold was never found, and is rumored still to be hidden somewhere in Idaho’s City of Rocks.
LA would tell this story with gusto, sharing his excitement for Idaho’s colorful history. LA made every train ride an unforgettable adventure.
River City is an entertainment company. We write all of our own shows. We pondered about how best to honor the memory of LA Gordon. We decided to celebrate his memory by doing what we do best: writing him into a show.
This year you’ll find several “Wild West Dinner Train” or “Spaghetti Western” shows on the Thunder Mountain Line train schedule. For these shows we started with the true story of Big Dave Updyke and added a certain LA Gordon as the head of the citizen’s posse. We took a few liberties with the historical record to make the show work on a train, but kept the heart of the story LA told so often and so well.
This year help us honor the memory of LA Gordon. Please join us for one of the Wild West Dinner trains, or see the same story on the Spaghetti Western trains. There are several dates throughout the year. You’ll find the complete schedule on our website, or on the website for the Thunder Mountain Line.
We think LA would be proud!
For more on the story of Big Dave Updyke, please visit either of these two websites: