The railroads have been a constant theme throughout our journey. Alec and Jamie practically started their ride on the Chesapeake and Ohio canal rail-trail across Pennsylvania and when we arrived in Pittsburg it seemed to be the hub of the transcontinental railroad. We even found our hotel in Pittsburg sat between two busy tracks that held trains constantly moving in opposite directions.
Gina and I discovered the length of some of these trains as we waited for over 20 minutes at one particular railroad crossing in Cumberland, Maryland. Trains have moved parallel or intersected my drive through so many states, but in Missouri, the tracks were everywhere. Kelly was with me then and warned of the importance of stopping to make sure there was no train coming before passing through a railroad crossing. She, herself, had once had a close encounter as a young woman crossing some tracks in Mexico, Missouri.
So far the most amazing railroad sighting took place in Wyoming as I was driving to pick up my sister from the Casper airport. After many, many miles of flat prairie land, a ridge appeared out of nowhere and just as it caught my attention, a wonderful locomotive moved into view three-quarters of the way up the ridge. It was a majestic sight to watch as the engine plowed steadily ahead, pulling countless cars behind.
I have often felt as though I am part of a train on this trip. We keep moving forward with Alec as the locomotive, steaming through the countryside. Jamie is our engineer, plotting the course and making sure all parts are moving in the right direction. And I am the little caboose at the rear providing some guidance but really being pulled by the efforts of those two at the head.
From here to a cure,