It seems like 2012 is off to a slow start as far as my exploring goes but that’s partly because the car is limping badly. I have an appointment to get it into the shop on Martin Luther King Day. Until then I am trying to keep driving to a minimum. I don’t want it to quit on me before I can get it fixed. I need to be able to get to work.
Before I knew the car was in dire straights I made arrangements to get the day off on Saturday Jan 7, 2012. This was done so I could go on a “photo shoot” in New Hampshire. I wasn’t going to miss it just because the car needs some work. Instead I arranged to take the bus transportation being offered. Even so I had to drive 50 miles to get to the bus station in Woburn.
The bus was leaving a 7:15 am. It’s at least an hour drive from my house to Woburn so Saturday morning my alarm was going off at 5 am. It’s still very dark and cold at 5 am!
I was on the road by 5:30 and arrived at the bus station in Woburn in time to get breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts.
The bus was a charter from Crystal Tours and arrived right on time. They started at South Station in Boston so there were already other riders on the bus.
Those of us from the Woburn stop were loaded on and we were off. The tour leader said he would let us sleep as it was still so early. Then he proceeded to make announcements and chit-chat over the speakers all the way to North Conway. Every time we went over a railroad track or crossing or even had a track run beside the road, he had to tell everyone what it was and its history. You see I was on a “Rail Fan” tour. Everyone on the bus was a die-hard train buff.
I like trains but I am not a “rail fan” I don’t memorize the history of the rail lines or know how to maintain a steam engine. These friendly folks knew stats and tossed them around the way sports fans toss out batting stats or field goal completions. Mostly I smiled and nodded as everyone around me seemed to be speaking a different language.
We were heading to North Conway, NH for a ride on the Scenic Railroad. This was a special train that is chartered by the Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts, Inc. for a day known as “Steam in the Snow”. Too bad we don’t have the snow! (Ok there’s a little bit in New Hampshire)
The day is set up so that a diesel engine pulls the train the first half of the journey with the stream engine in the role of the caboose. This part of the trip is non stop and is nice and relaxing through some very pretty country. On this leg the box lunches were distributed, along with the route guide.
At the end of the line the diesel is unhitched and the steam train takes over for the trip back to North Conway. This was the part I was waiting for.