Friday, June 13, 2008

All Aboard

When I was just a wee one my parents took my brother Sterling and I for a ride on the Heber Creeper. For those of you who don’t live in Utah, and perhaps even for those of you who do-the Heber Creeper is this great old train you can ride and see lovely parts of Utah you don’t see in your automobile. Both mom and dad were photography enthusiasts so we have all these cute photos from that day of Sterling and me on the train. What the photos do NOT show is the part where they staged a holdup halfway through the train ride. At the time of the “robbery”, my mom and I had gone to another car and weren’t sitting with my brother and my dad. I can still remember that when I saw the guy with a gun and a bandana tied over his mouth get on the train I thought, “my dad is dead. I’m sure they killed him.” I was absolutely terrified. I don’t think my mom realized at first because I also remember her kind of giggling while the robbers put on their little show. I have no idea how she explained to me that it was all pretend but I do know that the next time I got on a train I was 22 and my mission president was sending me on a six hour ride to the furthermost edge of the mission boundaries. And that it took a long time before the city of Heber stopped giving me the creeps.

Thankfully I wasn’t traumatized for life and I developed a bit of a taste for trains during my time in Europe. Trains tend to go the scenic route and are just so low maintenance compared to many other modes of travel-no parking, no security lines, dining cars-I just really enjoyed them.

So a few weeks ago I was busy being lazy and missed a carload of friends leaving for Rockport for the day so someone suggested I take the train and meet them there. So instead of sitting in traffic I was watching spectacular parts of New England go by out the window while someone else drove.

Wednesday night I was on another train coming home from New York. One of my coworkers pointed out that by the time you factor in getting to the airport an hour early, the inevitable wait on the runway and a taxi from La Guardia, it’s almost faster to take the train and get dropped off right at Penn Station. And it’s way, way more pleasant. Aside from my ridiculously fun charter plane experience a few weeks ago, I’m pretty sick to death of flying. Lines, delays, airport/plane food, cramped cabins, wasted hours of waiting-it’s just not fun. If it were at all feasible I would love to take the train pretty much everywhere.

Summer is heating up here in Boston and my friend Jeff just sent out his completely awesome 2008 mix. He said I could share so here you go



Rookie Dad said...

I have a recently-renewed interest in trains which Jaime finds strange. I want to take the train up to Santa Barbara for our anniversary in a couple of weeks, but Jaime points out that we would then not have a car to get around. But the numbers don't lie: its cheaper for us to take the train to the Burbank Airport than to drive if only one of us is flying somewhere, and the MetroLink stop is closer to the terminal than the short-term parking. If you come to visit us this summer, you can bet I'll make the suggestion to try the train.

Rookie Dad said...

That is, from the Burbank Airport. Not sure I'd suggest a Transcontintental Amtrak experience - I'm sure that would lose its romance by about Ohio . . .