Day 16: Train ride

(Coming from the west…)

The train ride yesterday was unexpectedly relaxing.  I enjoyed it.  It was a 7-hour trip (after a 2-1/2 drive to Pennsylvania where we got on the train).  We watched the sky clear and lighten on our way to the train station in Greensburg, PA.  It was nice to get out from under the clouds although we did catch up with them a little later.  I don’t know where the clouds disappeared to once we were through the mountains of Pennsylvania.   The sky cleared up nicely from that point on.  The temperature got warmer too.  Much warmer than we’re used to at home.

(… and heading east.)

The foliage in the mountains has not changed color as much as I thought it would have by now.  There was some color but it looks like it will be a few weeks before it peaks.

One of the “thrills” of this train ride for M was Horseshoe Curve.  He’s been talking about taking the train through there for years and he finally got to do it.  Horseshoe Curve is located near Altoona, Pennsylvania and is a National Historic Landmark.  The Pennsylvania Railroad built Horseshoe Curve is two separate curves completed in 1854 as a means of getting trains west through the summit of the Allegheny Mountains.  Without the curves, the incline would have been too steep.

Horseshoe Curve has an interesting history.  It was guarded by Union soldiers during the U.S. Civil War and closed during parts of World War II when it was learned that the Nazis intended to sabotage it.

(Part of Horseshoe Curve.)

Sorry about the quality of the photo (and/or photos).  I can’t see them well on the laptop.  They are straight out of the camera and I’m hoping that aren’t as bad as they look from here.  The window I looked out of on this trip was terribly dirty.  I’m not sure how much of that shows.

The ride took us through the mountains of Pennsylvania, into farm and Amish country, and then into the suburbs and city of Philadelphia.

In Philly we rented a car and drove to New Jersey to get together with some of my family for the evening.  It was good to see my sister and her family, and my father.

All in all, it was a good trip.  As I mentioned before, I like traveling by train.  There is something romantic about it.  Relaxing too.  It was nice to be able to stretch out, read, look out the window, and get up to walk around whenever I got tired of sitting.

As for my get outside commitment, M and I hung around on the train platform for a goodly amount of time.  Although it was not my usual outdoor adventure, it was outdoors.  We listened to the birds chattering in between the noise of the freight trains as they roared through, kicking up quite a breeze as they passed.  It was a different sort of outdoors experience, but almost as nice.

This morning we’re off to a nearby park to get some fresh air and much needed exercise.  I’m looking forward to a good walk/run after all that sitting yesterday.

The hospice “life celebration” for Mom is this afternoon.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to going to hospice but it will be nice to gather together with my father and siblings again.


9 Comments on “Day 16: Train ride”

  1. jenna says:

    I really enjoy train trips too. The daily ones I take to work, and the longer ones I take to my sister’s place. The western/central PA landscape is gorgeous in your pics. Maybe C and I should try to get out there in a week or so, for the leaves.

    • Robin says:

      I think you and C ought to do that, J. Go all the way to P’burgh. Then we can pick you up and you can spend a day in the Bogs. 😀

  2. Anna says:

    Your train trip sounded so pleasurable and through beautiful PA. I enjoyed the photos you shared to give a view of your trip by track. I’d love to ride a train like that as I love trains. Something on my to-do list. May all go well with you and yours at this memorial gathering.

  3. Karma says:

    This post helped me figure something out. I may have mentioned once or twice over at my place that I am a Red Sox fan. I have also been to games of one of their farm teams, The Portland Sea Dogs (of Portland, Maine). A couple of times they played a team called the Altoona Curve, (farm team for the Pittsburgh Pirates) and I thought to myself, what an unusual name for a ballclub. Now I know where it came from!

    I have heard of these “life celebrations” people have started to have. The reasons for having them are of course very sad, but I think it is a lovely idea. I will keep you and your mom in my thoughts.

    • Robin says:

      Glad you got the answer to your musings, Karma. 🙂

      And thank you for your thoughts. Life celebrations are, in theory, a lovely idea but I’m still trying to figure out if it holds true in practice. It certainly brought up a lot of emotions.

  4. […] them will enjoy the ride, especially Horseshoe Curve.  M and I took a trip on this train back on Day 16 of my commitment.  It’s a wonderful way to travel. Today's view of the […]

  5. Barbara Rodgers says:

    I love traveling by train, too, so I had to come over ad take a peek at this post. Now I want to experience Horseshoe Curve, too!

  6. […] traveled this route before (there’s a post about it here, if you’re interested).  It’s a beautiful ride through […]


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