Monday, October 10, 2016

Leaf peepers

Aimee planned a leaf-viewing picnic -- on a train. This is the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad, a volunteer-run local railway heritage preservation organization that offers rail tours a few times a year.

Edana, who has read about trains in books and seen them on TV and possibly from afar, was very excited to go on the train. She got so worked up that she became upset when we stopped to quickly pick up some groceries, and I had to placate her with a story or two while mommy did the shopping. But eventually the great moment arrived and our kid got to go on a train.

The day was gloomy and not the best of days for leaf-peepin', as Mainers say, but the train was full. There was one particularly loud extended Indian family with several kids, all speaking Hindi ten-to-the-dozen. This reminded me of Sheffield, of course, and even made me a little homesick, but I'm not sure the very middle class American retirees sat next to them enjoyed the spectacle quite as much.

The train rocked and rolled a few miles down the tracks. Being used to British trains, I was surprised at how much our coach car, a former Amtrak stalwart, rocked from side to side. I was glad that we didn't pick up speed. I expect it would have derailed.

We've considered using the train to get to Aimee's folks in VA, and indeed, we could go all the way from Portland to Staunton, VA, twenty miles from H-burg, on the train, but my experiences with Amtrak have not been that positive. I expect we'd get delayed, and then we'd be on a train with a kid and a bunch of luggage for two or three days. At least in a car you can go to a motel and rest.

Anyway, our picnic was very successful and our kid was very happy with her train ride.

In other news, the kitchen range has now been replaced with a fancy new one. I've dismantled the old one and determined the fault, a failed oven igniter unit, but the repair part may be more expensive than the value of the range, which has rusty feet from Mary-dog's unfortunate habit, when she grew geriatric, of piddling on the floor next to the stove.

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