A train rolled into the same tourist station—the same turn-around every Sunday at noon—for who knows how long. Yet in the 4 + years both of us had been in the mountains of Frostburg, Maryland, we had never heard, seen or knew anything of that old coal engine. Nevertheless, that faithful Sunday sitting in the old-timey western diner, eating our burgers and fries we saw black smoke rising above the valley treetops. Moments later the big black steam engine, 734, made its way around the bend and came to a screeching halt on the track right outside the window of the diner. Next, like a scene right out of Twilight Zone, a conductor fully adorn in a nostalgic railroad uniform hopped down from the cab and hundreds of people from many nations flooded out onto the dock.
Families with children and couples with sparks in their eyes and picnic baskets in hand bombarded the loading deck, then the rest-stop and finally the walking trails. Baffled and amazed we made our way out into the hustle, bustle, and commotion. I stood on the track like a damsel in distress—after all, it did feel as if we’re in a movie. Frank laughed, and marvel at the ridiculous amount of people who now crowded the small valley parking lot, and of course at me standing in the presence of such a beautifully crafted historic hunk of metal—grinning like an over-sized child.
Peace & Love