Friday, June 27, 2008

Last post about the convention, but the strangest!

Yes, this is finally the last post about the National Convention. We made all the train trips with the exception on the one to the Piney Woods. Been there and done that - but much better. The last trip was certainly the most memorable.

It was on a line that last ran 41 years ago. It was to a VERY small town in the panhandle. We were on the train at 6:15 - yes a.m.! I'm thinking this is certainly a strange vacation. Let me get home to get some rest!

They promised breakfast on the train. Well that was a blueberry muffin and a bottle of orange juice. Didn't make me too happy. A breakfast of carbs doesn't do me well. But I guess it was better than nothing.

The train left right on time. That in itself is amazing. We love train travel, but we always figure several more hours into the trip than the schedule. This is because even though passenger traffic should get the main line track most of the time, the big rail roads control the tracks and their freight almost always gets priorities. We had a couple of times on sidings, but generally we were doing well.

The man in the seat across the isle is a real train buff. He had a scanner set on the rail frequency. When we stopped next to a coal train, his scanner went off. They were talking about some nut around with a blue painted face weilding an axe!

People who organize the trips like this always post two people on each rail car called car hosts.
They keep the car neat and tidy, and make sure everyone is safe. Their radios went off with the message to make sure the vestibule doors were locked.

We were the seventh car back. We didn't get to see this nut, but not seeing anything can lead to more apprehension that actually knowing where he is. Apparently, he was trying to do something to the air brake system on that coal train. When we got to our final destination, I overheard some others talking. He was arrested and carted off to jail. The rumor has it that he was a disgruntled Con Rail ex-employee.

That was really a train ride that will remain in my memory. K called me while we were stopped. I told her what was going on. She thought it was a joke until I was able to convince her that I was really telling the truth, and it really was NOT a set-up.

What a way to end our convention vacation!

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