Like a group of vagabonds, we rode the rails today. My dad, my uncle, my son, and I made the trip to Cass, W.V. today. It was perfect-to sum it up in one word. The weather was cooperative, the crowds were sparse, and the look on Rowan’s face when he saw that 103 ton steam engine chugging toward us, made the hour and forty-five minutes of, “Is that the railroad? Is that it, there? Are we there NOOOOOOW?” totally worth it.
Our first priority upon arriving was to buy Rowan a conductor’s hat. Uncle Jim took care of that, while Rowan poked around at the touristy, over-priced knick-knacks, of which I purchased one. The cap, Rowan wore proudly, his ears either completely hidden, or folded over, bent at an unnatural angle. It only added to charm, causing him to appear more innocent and vulnerable than usual. It was also about two sizes too big, and he refused to prop it up on his forehead, instead using it to hide from anyone he didn’t feel worthy of his attention, which was mostly me, while trying to take his picture.
Because I’m not perfect, I bribed him with popcorn, and he held his head up long enough for someone to capture his sweet mug a time or two.
The train ride itself was very peaceful. It was mostly lush forests, or scenic overlooks, with a few buildings scattered here and there, and the ride totally lived up to the hype. Rowan was either staring in awe at the engine, sitting on someone’s lap, or happily chattering about each and every detail of each and every item he saw.
Halfway through the trip, the train stopped at Whittaker Station. We walked around for about half an hour, exploring an old breakdown train, an observation tower, and some logging equipment. Rowan got some wiggles out by balancing on railroad ties, and inspecting equipment.
We ate lunch at the local diner, and then played on a random playground for a while. The big event was the river, though, and tossing rocks into the water to hear the satisfying “KER-PLUNK!” It was a glorious day.
I’ll post lots more photos on my FB page, so you can see them there. You may have to add me first.. 🙂