Sunday, October 10, 2010

Rails to nowhere

There are many that are fascinated by trains. A friend of ours has a separate room devoted to them. I have never had a particular draw to them although I think I likely understand the allure they have and the pull others feel toward them. They are symbols of a mighty industrial past, a past tied to memories and often days of our youths.

My way home each day takes me on a highway overpass that overlooks a long stretch of tracks. They are by their nature nondescript as railroad tracks go, straight as an arrow resting on a bed of stone and earth higher than the surrounding points. They are flanked on either side by a long row of trees. Each day, if traffic permits I find myself snatching a glimpse over the rail watching the tracks disappear in the converging distance.

For some reason, trains themselves have little appeal to me, be they old fashioned or modern monsters. However, I find the tracks and structures of a railroad fascinating. Actually, I find them more intriguing when they are empty, sans locomotive. Perhaps the engine and all its cars represent the here and now, a passing by on the way to a destination. The tracks however don't give me that impression. They are a road to somewhere else, a possibility, never fully realized. They have potential, a treasure map to a far off place.

I don't know if I'll ever take a train ride to see where any tracks may lead, or ride on a trestle as it passes over a gorge or a hidden river, but I may walk a mile down the rail just to explore.


  1. I encourage you to take a train ride with your beloved - it is truly a unique and spectacular way to travel and see the country. We had a blast and the kids also enjoyed the novelty of train travel, the small towns we went through, and all the people we met. We are talking about doing more train travel - after the kids are gone so we can rent a sleeper this time instead of sleeping in the chairs. It was fun, but I'd like to try the private car option!

  2. Find me a train to Hogwarts!

  3. There's one in Florida - for a fee - or so I hear!

  4. Gosh, my ramblin' kinda sounds like a Johnny Cash song.