We got our tour courtesy of Ken (L) and Larry (R) Evans, who've been keeping the engine running for more than 15 years.
Ready, set...let's see what this baby can do.
A brief view from the other side.
Not everyone gets excited about it. But a lot of us do.
The Fairbanks Morse engine is in a restricted area of the Observatory campus, but the Observatory itself is open to the public every day, 10am-5pm, as long as the roads are open. The Cosmic Cafe is open on weekends from April through November. Guided tours of the Observatory are available on weekends, or by reservation. You can even reserve one of the telescopes for a star gazing party! Or a photo shoot! Or an anniversary party! Or a wedding! I'm pretty sure there's not a more unique location, at least not within driving distance of my house.
11/23/15 update from Ken Evans (left, above):
"If that lizard got onto the running flywheel, it would have to go 60 miles per hour to stay in one spot. Just a little trivia I once figured out.
"I am draining the water out of it tomorrow, Tuesday Nov 24 for the winter. Freezing nights are predicted for several days and we don't want to damage anything on such a treasure. So the show season is over. Of course it can be looked at, just not run."