Monday, 15 October 2007

Instead of the daily play by play, I figured I would just do one or two summary posts once I got home. After all, do you really need me to tell you how great each RCPM show was? Either you believe me and have gone to one, or you’re just not into it (read: lame).

I decided the first night out would be La Porte, IN; right near the Indiana Sand Dunes. My sister-in-law, Tina, said they were gorgeous if you could catch them at sunset. It also happened to be about 8 hours from home and would make a good place to stop.

On the way I stopped in Madison, WI and had brunch with my friends Michelle and Steve. I always enjoy seeing them and we had a good time, but I had left home later than originally planned, so I got to La Porte pretty much at sunset, so that part of the plan was blown. However, Michelle is like a sister to me and I wouldn’t have traded my brief visit for anything.

Second night was in Detroit, MI, after a visit to The Henry Ford Museum. Of particular interest to me were the restored Alleghenny locomotive, an operating roundhouse, and working narrow-gauge steam line. At least that’s what drew me in originally. They also had several other railroad pieces on display, as well as several Presidential limos.

The outdoor portion, known as Greenfield Village, was like a ghost town because it had rained all morning. I practically had the place to myself, but it was quite eerie walking along the deserted streets.

Greenfield Village has roughly 100 cottages, houses, stores, and workplaces all restored to nearly pristine condition. Each serving its original purpose, including Edison Illuminating.

Because it was so quiet, I got to spend some time talking to a couple of the guys at the roundhouse. I even had the opportunity to move the roundhouse turntable myself (with some pointers from the the proctor). No big deal you say, but to a train geek like me it was very cool.

I spent some time in their carousel, which also works, just looking at the magnificent job they did restoring the animals. Since there were no riders, I was allowed inside the fence to take some close-up shots of the menagerie. I still need to pick through the photos, but there should be at least a couple keepers in there.

For some reason, one of the most memorable aspects for me was sitting in Rosa Parks’ bus seat. I can’t explain why, but it was quite a solemn moment.

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