May 9, 2019, in Ogden, Utah. It was the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Our family (older son, his girlfriend, Robert and I in one car, and the younger son, his wife, our niece and her husband in a second car) drove over 700 miles to be there for this momentous occasion. Three days of celebrating, riding trains and just taking in the sights.
We got back home Monday evening. The eldest son did all the driving, for which I am very grateful. There were some high points and some low points, as all trips have, but here’s some photos of the high points!
This was the stage and the fenced in ‘corral’ area where handicapped people could wait for the steam locomotives to appear. Wheelchairs were allowed, but chairs weren’t allowed. Also, at first they allowed people to come in and take pictures but then if they weren’t disabled, they had to leave. One couple stayed with me and when they were announcing that non-handicapped people had to leave the corral area, they asked if they could be my ‘assistants’. I told them sure, for as long as I could tolerate standing there waiting for the ceremony. We got there at 7:30 a.m., expecting the ceremony to start at 9:30 a.m. After a bit, we learned that contrary to everything we’d been told/read, the ceremony wouldn’t start until 10:30 a.m. I stood there at the railing for as long as I could before the pain caused me to give up and make my way over to the bleachers where my daughter-in-law, niece and older son’s girlfriend were sitting. We still had quite a wait.
UP 844 was already in place, but UP 4014 was off stage and out of sight to the left.
At one point, the engineer for 844 got off and walked over to talk to some people a couple of feet away from me. I pulled out our cards and motioned him over. I told him about the 24/7 live train cams here in Tehachapi and he smiled and said he’d check them out as he tucked the cards in his wallet.
Needless to say, it was hard to get a photo of the “Big Boy” as it is fondly called, without people in the picture, but we managed to get this one of it as it was leaving the yard. A once in a lifetime opportunity that won’t happen again for another 50 years.
Other than trains, we saw lots of snow-capped mountains, and toured an automobile museum.
Be safe, take care of yourself, and be grateful for each and every moment of your life. Be sure to tell those you love that you love them.