Friday, January 16, 2015

Looking Ahead

Even with Christmas shortly behind me, I am looking at the possibilities for future trips. Just to have projects, I have planned a number of trips such as an overnight to Chicago with a overnight sidetrip to Memphis, TN and overnight return to Chicago and finally overnight to Home. When I modified the Tennessee trip, last year, I removed Memphis and Nashville. Chicago is obvious as what to see, both railfan and other. The one major attractions to Memphis is one of the only hanging monorails in the country. That is multiplied with streetcars and more tourist stuff.

Last year, I got to Atlanta before they began running the Streetcars. An very good out and back would go overnight to Atlanta and overnight back. Between arrival in DC and departure for Atlanta, I could scope out their Streetcars, which I missed this last Christmas. I could do that on the return, as well, do something else. I read that the Atlanta Streetcars started running on December 31. When the DC streetcars begin is yet to be known. My last information places it the week of January 19th.

Another remake is the Northern Florida out and back. First to Orlando via Winter Park to both see, watch, and ride SunCom. (I was in Orlando on a Sunday and it did not run on Sundays.) Than Back to Jacksonville to see and ride the monorail. (I was there on a Sunday and the Monorail did not run on Sundays.) I laid out a out and back trip to see both.

For some reason, I would love to duplicate, in part, my first vacation to New England. That vacation I took in the fall of 1978. It was a two week trip and ended in a run across Pennsylvania to Strasbourg. It started with a ride on the Chessie Steam Special. It was my first railfan/other excursion

I took the usual Virginia to New England route, I 95 to the Garden State Parkway, across the
Tappan Zee bridge, back down to I 95, taking the shoreline to Mystic Seaport, Connecticut. With a stop in Providence RI to visit family and a train ride to NYC to see my sister,

I was working as an Apprentice and interpretive Bookbinder for Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and had interest in restorations. Mystic Seaport was one. From there I went to Plymouth Plantation. I stopped by Edaville Railroad, when it was simply a scenic railroad and museum, not the amusement part that it is today. Old Sturbridge Village and Hancock Shaker were added to this trip. For some reason the exact order of visiting has been forgotten, There was one thing that confuses me. I remember being on the Mass. Pike heading for Boston but taking a detour before downtown but missing the detour and ending up at South station (a happy accident, I might add). From there I headed south to Plymouth. But did I see Edaville before Plymouth or after and was Providence before?  After Hancock, I went accross Pennslyvania to Stausbourg, before heading home.

That was the time that all I had to plan with (before the days of the internet) was a Atlas and a book listing tourist railroads. Not only that, I was new to railfanning, so I did not look for good places to watch trains nor did I know what I might encounter. And there were a few places that I missed because I did not yet know better.

As it is, there are more to see, now. There are updates to what I saw before, and things I did not see for lack of knowing. A refresher trip would be nice. I did a planning session this fall just to see what it would take. But, more on that, later.

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