Travel To AAPRCO
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
I arose at 7:00 AM this morning and showered up. I then took a few virtual pictures of some of the bedrooms before breakfast. One room had a mirror that I just could not get around. I hate it when the tripod is in the picture, but it's either that or no picture. I'll check them out later on my computer to see if they came out okay.
For breakfast we had grapefruit with honey, bacon and French toast smothered with a medley of berries, sprinkled with powdered sugar. It looked so good I really didn't want to dig into it, but I had to do what I had to do. I won't tell you how it tasted. Surely, your mind can conjure up your taste buds to work for you.
After breakfast I was back in my room typing away. "Look, there goes an Amish in one of those black one horse buggies down the country road." I've seen pictures of that, but never physically seen it. A train gets you into the darndest places. It looks like most of the corn crops have been harvested and the cool to cold weather is settling in. The country never ceases to fascinate me.
Around 11:00 AM we stopped for about 20 minutes. I assume it was for a freight train that needed to go by. When we fired up we really took off. I'm sure that we were going at the maximum allowed speed. The color of the trees are so gorgeous! Lovely serene countryside! The railfans get a double whammy out here, they get to take pictures of this unique trainset go by with the outstanding color foliage in the area.
For lunch we had a scrumptious salad that filled our plate. I really enjoyed that meal! Fruit with lemon tarts and brownies for dessert. From my little experience, all of the chefs that ply their trade on these rolling castles turn out great looking and great tasting food. The staff always tend to overserve on the wine, so you wine drinkers, this is the place for you.
Everyone was given a red lanyard with a white and red card that would allow one to pass freely from one car to another. Of course courtesy is observed where you don't go through during mealtime nor late at night.
If you like what you read, my advice to you is to get off the stick and call one of these private railcar owners at RAILcharter.com and book early for next years AAPRCO meeting. Become a member, you don't have to own a railcar to be one. Surprised you, didn't I? Please consider the private railcar owners that sponsor TrainWeb, as they are the ones that keep us in business to bring this material to you. Everyone helping everyone makes it work.
Let me tell you something about these private railcar owners. They are very down to earth people who have a tremendous appreciation for trains. This is their hobby, their love. Just like someone would appreciate a beautiful antique automobile. Some are financially better off than others, but they all have a close bond together as their world revolves around their passion. You will enjoy meeting them and talking with their family. Lots of laughs and good stories abound. Women, you will love it! You will appreciate the décor and the feminine touches in the right places. The men will like, more than likely, everything. Both of you will like the scenery and the food! In some cases the owner goes with the car to assist you and make your journey pleasant. Some railcars owners set everything up for you and your group (if with a group) to go it alone. You can do your own cooking or they'll have a chef onboard for you. It's your call. Enjoy it and have fun!
Now it's time to explore a little. I started heading towards the front of the train and taking pictures of some of the cars and passengers. There are no two alike! That means that if you want to see what the different cars look like, you're going to have to go through all of the pictures. There are many good shots, so take the time to go through them and pick out your favorites. Plan out an activity. If you can't do it today, plan for tomorrow. You'll enjoy it and if you make it happen, you'll be glad you did and come back for more - you'll be "hooked."
Some cars just had family and friends on board, others had paying guests. They were all ever so friendly and gracious. Everyone trying to outdo the other in kindness. It's easy to make new friends and strike up great conversations. It's so interesting to walk up the steps to the dome areas, to appreciate the luxury paneling and furniture and fine china and other goods that these lovely cars offer. You get to see your country as it really is as well. For people coming in from foreign countries there is no better way to fully see and appreciate what America offers. This bountiful land of greatness will surprise you with its' vastness and beauty. Why travel elsewhere when there is so much to see and do in this fashion.
The list of cars will be posted after the final segment of this travelogue. Suffice it to say, I did not get to go through all of the cars. There were just so many of them and with looking at the scenery and having great talk with the likes of Charles Wiesner, David Hoffman, Fred Springer, and on and on and on, time just flies by. Believe me, working on this laptop while so much beauty is going by is no fun for me, but somebody has to do it. Sure!
I ended up missing dinner as I was in another car halfway up the line enjoying fun talk with a bunch of the boys up there. They had me splitting a seam as they were always cracking jokes, talking about funny episodes in their lives and just having a down to earth good time. That comes with the ride.
I made my way back to the Silver Iris around 8:45 PM and retired for the night. A fun day with pleasant memories. How can you forget days like this? I stayed awake for awhile reminiscing of the past few days and how always refreshing it is to experience this kind of travel. The few that have, understand what I'm talking about.
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
I woke up around 6:00 AM but I got up and showered around 8:00 AM. I headed for the Virginia City living room so I could get the table and chair in the corner so I could use my laptop. A nice "secluded" area to do my work. Most of the guys would head outside to enjoy the fresh air ("brrr") and take good camera shots as taking them through the windows are not as clear.
We had Eggs Benedict with homemade applesauce and pomegranate this morning. I've laid off eggs pretty well, but on this trip I'm bending the rules a little bit. Coming through this part of the county, Ohio, Maryland, Pensylvania, is just exquisite. The foliage is a rainbow of colors and never seems to run out of them. Many railfans out in the fields, along the railtracks and in the towns, wave and smile as we go. Sometimes we're going fast and sometimes we're going slow, but these people brave rain, wind and snow to take their historic pictures and greet the passengers as they glide gleefully by. Hopefully, many of them will be onboard someday soon so they too can wave to other railfans as they speed along the rails. I think that the "rush" is a lot stronger on "this side of the fence."
People on the train are reading their material supplied by AAPRCO in preparation of our arrival at our destination later this evening. We are told that once the train makes its' initial stop in our host city of Baltimore at the B&O Railroad Museum, we will have a shuttle bus that will be shuttling us back and forth from the museum to the Raddison Plaza Hotel Baltimore for the next few days. Saylor and I will have to get our laundry done and also to FedEx our floppy discs with all of our pictures and travelogues to TrainWeb, in Fullerton, California, for Steve Grande and Shivam Surve to put up on the website for everyone to see. You don't want us to forget you readers, do you? We just passed milepost 127, so we're getting that much closer to our destination. It's going to be one heck of a big party. wish you were here!
Saylor and I got to go in every rail car on this trainset. Lots of great pictures and fun talking with the owners and guests of the respective cars. I met Dean McCormick of the Scottish Thistle, a strong supporter of AAPRCO and TrainWeb, a few times as I was going back and forth through the railcars. One gentleman recognized me when he was on the American Orient Express this past summer. I knew that I had seen him somewhere. Isn't that something, to meet someone that you met previously elsewhere, and then meet again on the other side of the country - on a train both times, again. Kind of neat!
Again, everyone very friendly, willing to share what they had, being friendly and social. More railfans along the tracks taking pictures and waving to the people on the trainset. Always a pleasant site to see. Baltimore is getting pretty close now as some of the people are recognizing some of the area.
We made a stop outside the city by quite a few miles, but one could see the city skyscrapers from the train tracks when we were crossing a bridge. We backed up slowly, but had to stop again because the tracks that we were turning onto had another spur from that one and an empty coal car was not sufficiently away from our cars. If we would have rounded the bend, the corner of our cars would have connected with the old coal car and then there would have been hell to pay. We waited until someone came and moved the obtrusive coal car far enough out of the way. Another 45 minutes shot. No big deal, it's just part of the experience.
We were very close to the B&O Railroad Museum, and they were expecting us. Sure enough, there were museum staff and their volunteers controlling the area in preparation for our trainset and it's passengers. The gate was opened and our train stopped short of rolling in. The shuttle bus was waiting for us and shortly after stopping, around 7:00 PM the passengers disembarked. Many of us got on the shuttle bus and others, I believe, had automobiles waiting for them. The bus soon had all that was coming aboard, with our luggage, of course, and we were soon off to the Radisson Hotel.
As we left the museum area I got a pretty good look of the Museum grounds and its contents. I was VERY impressed! This is quite a place that the good people of this area are obviously very proud of, and obviously so. I believe that my stay here is going to be very interesting and enjoyable and I am looking forward to tomorrow.
It did not take the bus long to get to our hotel. Some of us got off and others headed for the Marriott Hotel. We checked into the hotel and ended up in room 823. They have a very pretty lobby here. We got our gear in order, picked up the FedEx package that TrainWeb shipped us, went across the street to bring Chinese food to our room ( I didn't like it at all), finished the southern trip portion of my travelogue around 11:30 PM and then went to bed looking to a busy three days ahead of us which equals a lot of information and pictures for everyone else. Remember, after we leave here we still have a long trip back to Chicago and then back to Emeryville, California.
Note: Photos of many individual railcars as well as virtual tours of some of them will be posted along with Part 5 of this travelogue. We will be posting one part of the travelogue each week and featuring it on the main page of TrainWeb.
Click to view each set of detailed photos below:
Are you interested in rail travel in a private railcar? Click here for information on chartering a private railcar. AAPRCO holds their convention once each year in various cities. You can travel across the country in a private railcar to the convention as Ray and Saylor did by contacting the owner of one of the private railcars that will be going to the convention. But, you don't have to go to the AAPRCO convention to enjoy the luxury of travel in a private railcar. You can charter a private railcar any time of the year to take you to many destinations along the rails! Click here for more information!