Thursday, July 10, 2008

Toot-toot, Toot-toot, Off We Go

Rick grabs a little R&R whenever he can. Twelve hours a day, seven days a week starts to make him batty. (His word, not mine.) He never makes appointments on Sundays. That's a "catch up on paperwork day." Sometimes he works late into the night on Saturday just so we can have a little time to do something fun or go to church together on Sunday. So, to continue our 4th of July weekend between phone calls and writing estimates, we took a sightseeing trip through the Connecticut River Valley.
We drove from East Haddam to the train station in Essex. The train took us to Deep River where we boarded a riverboat that took us up the Connecticut River to East Haddam and then back. We got back on the train which returned us to Essex where we walked around for a little while and ate some ice cream. Then we drove back to East Haddam.

More pictures are coming in future posts, but for the sake of my sanity and so I can get something else done today, I'll stick to the train ride this time.
The train was first put into service in the early 1920s. Engine 103 was not the engine that tugged us up and down the tracks, but it looked much the same as the one that did. They are coal-burning steam engines.

I took this photo hanging myself out the window right AFTER we were told NOT to hang any body parts or children out of the windows. We weren't moving yet so I figured, what's the harm?
The engine and all the cars are the "real deal" (no replicas here) dating back to the 20s and 30s.

Now I'm not sure about this guy. He was one of the trainmen who checked our tickets to make sure we didn't ride in the wrong car. Something about his short pants didn't seem to fit with the whole 1920s thing.

Here the conductor was just about to call, "All Aboard!" I think he looked a little more classy with his vest and long pants.

We paid $5.00 extra to ride in the "Pala Ca." And for all my readers who know how to pronounce the letter "r" when it is at the end of a word, we rode in the Parlor Car, aka Pullman Car. The lady selling tickets at the depot had the New England accent and could not sound out her final rs. Poor thing.
We don't usually go first class. Actually I don't know that we've EVER gone first class, except maybe the time we rented a Chrysler Sebring convertible and drove to Key West with the top down and stayed at a Wyndham Resort. That was pretty classy. But this was first class 1920s style. The other cars had either wooden bench seats or padded bus type seats. I would have taken some pictures, but they wouldn't let us go from one car to another while the train was moving. I had already hung myself out the window, so I thought I shouldn't press my luck.

I tried to get some scenery shots out my Pala Ca window, but pretty much all you could see were trees. I caught a glimpse of a swan, a small water fall, and a few other interesting things, but we were whizzing along about 20 mph and the trees here are THICK.

Here are the only shots I got that were not blurry green blobs. You can get an idea of the tree population.

Hope you enjoyed the train ride. We did. It got Rick away from the computer and me out of the camper for a while. Watch for the riverboat ride coming to this blog soon!

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