Monday, June 30, 2014

The Trip To Nowhere In Particular

Greetings from the 'Creek!

My daughter wanted me to write something funny because my previous posts have been "too educational."  OK.  I will hold off on the third installment of appliance shopping for now.  Since it's summer, I am not going to post much because I figure everyone is too busy having more fun elsewhere (if indeed that is possible.)

So... long ago in a county far, far away in southern Ohio we begin our story.   For many years we were tied up showing dogs on weekends in October and often took a pretty trip through PA to Havre de Grace, Maryland along the Chesapeake Bay. My husband and son like trains and I like pretty fall foliage so I had been wanting to ride on this scenic railway I'd read about.  I had visions of picturesque views of a fall color wonderland winding along the hillside.  But, peak season lasts about a minute in Ohio some years, so it didn't happen.

The first year that it looked like the ride timing would work out, I ordered online around $80 in tickets.  (1 senior, 2 adults and 2 kids.)  The train has special rides for Santa, robberies, Easter Egg hunts, etc., that are likely quite fun and worth the price.   For more info:  Hocking Valley Scenic Railway  BTW, it's run by volunteers who are keeping history alive and that's a good thing.

It all started after an hour and 1/2 plus drive to get to Nelsonville, Ohio.  The first thing my disappointed hubby said was "You didn't tell me it was a diesel."  I should have known that would matter as he is a steam guy with a state steam operator's license.  However, the group is in the process of restoring a steam one, so maybe next time.

Well, the train ride itself is about an hour.  You don't really go anywhere.   At first the train is going backward.  The track lays alongside of RT 33 and the hills are on the other side of the road.  Basically, you see the road, cars, road signs and power lines with a few trees on the left.  On the right you see the rear of lots of garages and the stuff folks store behind them.  At one point the train stops and then pulls forward (so you are getting a rerun of scenery,) you pass through the station and go up to a little frontier village.  They have you get off for 1/2 hour to browse at demonstrations, shop and potty.  Then, the conductor goes through and flips the backs to the seats and the train pushes you back to the station, but at least you think you are going forward.  It wasn't their fault of course, but the trees weren't even great that year.

Afterward, I was looking forward to getting back home and our dogs were surely looking forward to their dinner.  But that was not to be for awhile...

My father-in-law joined us as he likes trains too.  On the way back he said he wanted to "stop by" the "presidential cemetery" near Lancaster.  When asked where it was he said "I don't know.  It's around here somewhere."  So we pull off onto country roads and eventually/miraculously landed on it.  Big hint---no signs.  The kids were young and we were chatting, so it wasn't until we were pulling up on it that I asked the obvious...."Who was buried there?"  His answer, "Well, there aren't any presidents there, just the owner and his family."  Mark started laughing and we looked at each other and I said (under my breath) "You've got to #$%&ing be kidding me!"

This tiny Stonewall Cemetery is actually in someone's front yard and I'm fairly sure we were trespassing.  The story is this guy wanted U.S. presidents to have a nice place to be buried, so he deeded the rights to this 1/2 acre plot to every president in perpetuity.  Obviously, we didn't stay long.  Since we were late anyway and hungry, we got to the best part of the trip:  we had BBQ ribs and watched part of an OSU game at a Damon's restaurant.

Well, it was certainly a memorable trip, if nothing else....

Until next time have a safe, Happy 4th of July!

Gale



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