I love trains. Always have, ever since Dad brought me my first one (well, Santa brought it. Mother and I went to the store for some milk on Christmas Eve so Santa could have milk and cookies; when we got home, that debbil Santa had come and gone! He was early (Dallas was apparently one of his first stops, and Santa probably wanted to get done early so as to get at least a little sleep). In any event, I loved that train. Later, Dad got HIS train from HIS Dad’s, and I had both.
My grandmother Forthmon (“Grannie”), who lived with us, would take the train back to Malvern to visit her relatives, and I’d go along too. It was always grand. We went on “Ol Bluie” (Texas and Pacific, and later Missouri Pacific’s engines were all navy blue with gray trim; I didn’t realize at that age that there were DIFFERENT engines, they all looked like “Ol Bluie” to me).
Yes, planes get you there faster. I used to love plane travel. Now, I’d be just as happy never to get on one again. Trains, now that was when travel was more leisurely, more glamorous.
In any event, today Dad and I boarded the Maine Eastern Railroad and took off on a journey of 50 miles to Rockland, Maine (it took 3 hours, which might explain why people abandoned the train). Still, it afforded some great vistas and we had a marvelous time.
In Rockland, it was raining a bit. We found a used bookstore (always a plus), made purchases (you thought we’d go into a used bookstore and come out empty?), and found a great lunch place to have drinks and lunch quietly, in a great atmosphere, as the rain fell gently outside.
When the rain stopped and we were suitably refreshed, we went back toward the depot, and went to the Maine Lighthouse Museum (Kathy Beaumont, where are you when I need you?). Had a great time; our guide was fascinating and just boiling over with facts and figures about lighthouses. I honestly knew nothing about them other than they were cool and had big lights. I learned that the US Lighthouse Service operated before the Coast Guard, and that many of the lighthouse keepers were women. Quite a few performed amazing acts of heroism, saving lives. One of them, Ida Lewis, had a pennant with 18 stars, one for each life she’d saved. A fascinating glimpse into a life I knew nothing about.
I think some of today’s were among the best photos of the trip:
Not exactly the boarding platforms at Grand Central Station….
“The Magnolia” was spiffy in green.
Maine WORKS. This is where many of our current US Navy ships are built. There’s a huge Naval Air Station in Brunswick.
I loved it! They were all clustered along ONE of the rails (not the other!).
Wiscasset from the rails.
The gulls’ friends the pigeons were clustered on this house….
I wanted to go.
Note the widow’s walk on top of the house.
It’s all you need.
View from our table at lunch.
The Rockland Light (center of picture, on the peninsula).
Port Arthur, Texas, baby!
Back on the train; this time, we rode the “Alexander Hamilton”.
The following are my favorite pictures of the trip. Salt marshes and mud flats. Lobstermen checking their pots. I LOVED this part of the trip.
When exactly did I turn into Orson Welles?
^^^Probably my favorite.
Remember Microsoft “Bliss”?