Our little Grandson is a great admirer of the locomotives –big and small, old and new. He is also very fond of riding on any train. He really gets into a zone. If the Conductor even takes a minute to talk to him the questions start flying-not so much the usual questions of most 4 year old boys –but in depth detailed questions requiring facts and imagination to answer. He is a very smart little guy.
This particular train ride was special. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway brought in a steam engine –The Nickel Plate Road Engine Number 765. I purchased tickets ahead of time knowing it would be busy. The day was warm and a bit overcast but the turnout was incredible. The ride on the train also included a stop where you could get off the train and watch it speed by, and board once again.
We picked a car that was further back and not quite as full as the cars right behind the engines-getting the full experience of cinder and ash-but I didn’t get the tickets ordered quite in time, lesson learned for next year. We boarded, and were waiting for the ride to begin. There was some squirming and fidgeting but we all settled in and waited. Slowly we began to move and the speed gradually increased the scenery clicking by, the whistle blowing, and our little grandsons face pressed against the window as he took it in. All the while a clickity, clackity rumble calming my never quiet brain.
I soon began to realize what a big deal this steam engine was as we passed throngs of photographers and excited gazers snapping pictures as we passed. This triggered my imagination-of course- and I started thinking of what it would have been like 70 or so years ago. Traveling somewhere special on a old train, passing through sleepy little towns. And so my mind drifted in and out of time travel for a bit while we were on this little excursion. Before I knew it the ride was over.
We have always enjoyed the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway, and we do go on far too few train rides. Next year we are planning to take advantage of this local delight a lot more.