Railroads, Trains and Memories

Bodhi riding the rails in the dome car. Pulling out of Cheyenne.

Passing the Terry Bison Ranch on the Wyoming/Colorado border

Today, Bodhi and I got to have a wonderful adventure. Our friend, Mary Guthrie invited us to be her guests on a train ride from Cheyenne down to Denver on a historic Union Pacific train that was pulled by the last steam engine made for the Union Pacific, Engine 844. I took a few pics and wanted to just say that besides the joy of watching Bodhi experience his first train ride, that the ride for me was as much down memory lane as it was a present time experience.
Our friend and host, Mary Guthrie(left).

In the distance you can see Engine number 844, the last steam locomotive built for the Union Pacific.

My first passenger train ride was when I was a little bit younger than Bodhi, probably about 5 years old. My Granny and Gramps took me from Evanston, Wyoming to Ogden, Utah and back on a day trip. I don't remember that there was any occasion other than the ride, but it's the only trip I remember in which I was accompanied by both of them. Gramps worked for the Union Pacific for a long time, both as a night watchman at the Evanston rail yards and as a doper, greasing train  wheels with a hydraulic grease gun.
Gramps and Granny at the Sims Hotel.
As a kid, trains were pretty constantly in my surroundings. For a few years we lived just up the hill from the Evanston roundhouse, which is now a wonderful museum and meeting place for the community of Evanston. The Sims Hotel, which many of you know from my song, Aunt Lue's Hotel, was right across from the tracks, about a block from the Evanston depot. I've been told that I could sleep through a train wreck. It's no wonder. I grew up sleeping through them whistling in the night.
Bodhi at the depot in Greeley.

Number 844 pulling out of the Greeley station.

The ride today wasn't a long one, but it did take me back a long way to remind me where I'm from and it gave me a chance to connect Bodhi with a meaningful part of his family history. It took him less than five minutes to feel at home there...mastering riding with the bumps and waves, working his way from caboose to engine and leaving his dad in the dust, and as always stealthily locating the souvenir shop where he was able to find just the right hat for himself and earrings for his mom.
Bodhi has an innate sense that immediately leads him to a place to buy things. This is the souvenir car.

Mary, thank you for making this possible.

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