By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Trains and Boats and Planes

I enjoy traveling although I haven't done as much of it as I would like. Trains hold a particular fascination for me, perhaps because they are not so common anymore--a sort of nostalgia trip.

When I was 15, my family and I took a round trip on a train to Chicago where we spent several days sightseeing. I enjoyed Chicago, having never been to a big city before. But I loved the train trip. Part was overnight, but there was still time to enjoy the sights and the little glimpses into people's lives as we passed them. When I hear a train whistle, I think of how nice it would be to spend some time just riding trains around the country and doing some serious people-watching, as well as scenary-watching!

While in Chicago, we took a boat ride out on Lake Michigan. That was great--I'd never been on such a large body of water before (it was a vacation of firsts) and it was fascinating to see the water extend on to the horizon. Many years later, my mom and I took a boat ride up and down the river at Branson, Missouri. This was before it became so clogged with tourists. We went without reservations and had no trouble finding a good motel. We were able to see some great shows for $10 each. Imagine doing that now! And no traffic jams!

I didn't fly on an airplane until much later. I worked for a company that had it's home office in Dallas and they routinely flew people down for training of various kinds. I loved it! I was a little apprehensive that I would find myself afraid of flying, but that turned out to be my only fear. The acceleration of take-off is my favorite part. I loved seeing the tops of clouds and looking at the landscape far below. Soon after take-off, the view is the best--it's a bird's eye view, but you can still see people clearly and buildings and vehicles look like very realistic toys.

I enjoy car travel as well. You can stop and go as you please and enjoy the scenery. I enjoy it most when I don't have to drive. Then I can pay complete attention to the view. In fact, I think that letting someone else pilot the transportation is definitely the best way to go.

I enjoy sightseeing and visiting museums and other places of interest or just walking around a town and watching people, but the transportation is just as fascinating to me.



Anonymous Pop said...

Up until I was about 12, we uaed to take the train to go visit my grandmother. We even had to make a change from the New York Central to the B&O in Pittsburg. I also took the train to Florida from NE Ohio, which was a pretty good chug.

On water I've been around the world 2 1/2 times on one of my rich uncle's yachts. There is absolutely nothing like being thousands of miles from anywhere on a pitch black night. There is so much ambient light on land that most people have no idea just how dark the night can be.

Airplanes, I love them, what more can I say.


2:27 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Pop, I'll bet that was really cool to ride on the trains. Like any travel, you can get tired on a long trip, but it's so nice to look out and see the world go by!

I envy you your yacht trips. I can't even imagine being in the middle of the ocean. I expect you are right about not really knowing just how dark night can be! I'll bet the view of the sky and the stars is spectacular!

Airplanes are great!

2:30 AM  
Anonymous Barb said...

I take hotel reservations and would get a great rate, but I have never used it for myself. I prefer hearing about others' travels. And I liked your angle on the mode of travel! Happy Fourth!

8:57 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Barb, thanks for stopping by. I always like to hear from you. I like to watch travel DVDs and read travel books. I have a couple of train DVDs for North and South America and a couple of train travel books by Paul Theroux--one for China and one for the Patagonian Express. The videos were fun and I have started the book about traveling around China. Vicarious travel is great--no expense and no problems!

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Pop said...

If I'm traveling by automobile and do not have a time deadline, I stay away from thr interstate. You can have a wonderful time seeing the parts of the country where people actually live as opposed to mile after mile of sameness.


4:49 PM  
Blogger ambarwarrior said...

I've read the Theroux book about China! Loved it! Love travel books.

Loved flying until I had children.

Love taking the train and subway! Though once in South Korea I spent most of my trip from Pusan to Seoul squatting on the dirty floor at 12AM to 4AM. (horrible trip)

Boats are ok for short trips, love to travel by car which is why I caught a bad case of island fever when living in Hawaii. (husband was military)

I would love to take a train trip across Europe someday.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

NMW, thanks for stopping by! I'm enjoying Theroux's travel books. I think people just really enjoy visiting other lands, either in person or vicariously!

11:01 AM  
Blogger Titus Todd said...

My great grandfather worked for the railroad, first in Oklahoma and then in Texas. My great grandmother told us of getting on the train often to go from Amarillo, TX to Hiawatha, KS (NW of Kansas City) where family still lived. I wish I could take that same route today.

I enjoyed my train trip in Belgium to Dinant from Charleroi. Belgium (as well most of Europe) has a great commuter rail system. It was nice to see the towns and countryside go by without the distraction of driving. With gas prices being much higher in Europe, rail is the best way to go.

We've gone on the "Heber Crawler" - the Heber Valley Railroad in Utah - for the short run down Provo Canyon. It was pleasant to sit back and watch the scenery. Our son, however, did not like the train whistle!

If I could hop a train to visit relatives I would but as for most, it is not available anymore in this vast country. Maybe that will change with gas prices continuing to rise.

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Pop said...

Titus makes a good point and it also applies to MTA type buses around these parts, you can't get there from here. We live a block from a main east/west road, my wife worked one block off of a main north/south road. These two roads intersect. do you think she could get off of one bus and get on another one and get from A toB? of coures not. You wouldn't be able to use rail travel in a lot of instances because the trackage no longer exist. In other places it's almost impossible to make a connection between two different modes of transport.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Mary A said...

It would be nice if passenger trains were more common in the US. I would love to take vacations that way. In fact, I have toyed with the idea of locating some place where there is a nice long train trip and taking it as a vacation! But I'd have to drive/fly to the beginning point and from the end point. We do have a passenger train from OKC to Ft. Worth and back. A starting place for me.

3:11 PM  

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