Sunday, 21 August 2016

Train-induced excitement


Mine: limit exceeded :)



Recipe:

Take two sixty-something year old train geeks enthusiasts.
Pour into a Dodge RAM.
Add a thirty-something year old who is exceedingly fond of waving at trains.
Sprinkle with a liberal dose of highways, byways, and railroad tracks.
Chuck in as many trains as you possibly can.
Stir.

That, in short, is how you cook up an awesome road trip.

Rewind to September 2015:



Have passport,
will travel



Sometimes you hit the jackpot. And make friends with a person who has a "drivers license" to this beauty.

And you get to see a railway bridge from this angle:



I'm not saying I wasn't totally cool about it. Of course I was.  Cool af. 

Merely suggesting that I sort of melted into a little puddle of giddy happiness.


One of the old cars from "my"
Empire Builder

Ladies and Gentlemen:
THE HUSTLE MUSCLE 

I think we can safely agree that I reached my excitation limit several times. And this was only the second day of my vacation.

The next day we visited the Minnesota State Fair - and the day after that, we climbed into the car and headed WEST.


And my, oh my.  The West is big place.  I remember when I went from Portland to Chicago on the Empire Builder. It took most the better part of a day just to cross Montana - which was the Rockies, open country, fields, fields, fields, a town, fields, a dirt track, fields, fields, and more open country. It was, in short, awesome.

On this trip we drove through North Dakota, most of Montana, turned around near the Rockies, and came back via Wyoming and South Dakota. 



I'm currently thinking about going to see a
rodeo in Colorado next year. But they are
nowhere near as good at planning ahead
as the good people of the
Testicle Festival in Montana,
so all the 2017 dates are "yet to be announced".
(dear cowboys of Colorado, you may consider
this an open letter. My friend and I would like
to go dancing with you next spring; when should
we book our flights for? :)

Speaking of cowboys,
how many ways can you interpret
Anaconda Opportunity?
(oh ye of pure minds,
how I envy you)

My traveling companions knew all the good places. In the middle of nowhere, they would tell me to take the next exit (not the Anaconda one) and point me in the direction of a loooong, unpaved country road. 

Awesome

Though not always with
good visibility

You might think this was a dead end, and nothing to see...


But you would be entirely wrong:


Yay!!!! Train!!!

There's a special breed of people who take great delight in waving at trains. I proudly count myself among them ;)


One day we met the same train four times (because of signals, road/railroad layout, and driving like ze clappers) and it was glorious.  The train drivers are pretty good at waving back; the fourth time we met the train they went all in with lights, whistles, and what have you.

I'm pretty sure this is the equivalent of getting the guy's phone number (should have practised the Morse Code....)

I've tried counting the number of train pics I took that week.  I stopped when I got close to a hundred....

So yeah. That is one way to have an awesome road trip. Surround yourself with interesting people, keep your eyes open, talk to friendly strangers, and remember to wave at trains.

In fact, always wave at trains.

It's for luck.


1 comment:

Morten Jorgensen said...

Being one of the two nerds, I can only say that it was fun and an adventure to travel with you. We ought to repeat the fun one day!