Extra points to anyone who gets the quote!
First of all I need to catch up on totals. It's tricky. The pedometer fell off several times while we were in Vermont. Once a very kind porter rescued it from under the train. Once I got back the battery started dying on me and I lost several days worth of data. I'm back up and running now with a good battery, but the totals for October reflect problems more than actual fact. OK, I'm done with excuses.
September: 153.59 miles. Total: 1736.16 miles
October 77.29 miles. Total 1813.45
Getting close to 2000, so I can't complain too much. I'll write next week about where I am and how the trip is going. For those of you who are trying to figure out what in the world is going on, try this link and the few posts that follow that one.
Now, back to our big trip. I had pictures. My camera broke while we were in Wilmington. The little catch that keeps the batteries in broke. No problem, I'll just use my "smart" phone. Yeah, right. The phone does take good pictures. The only problem is getting the phone to send them anywhere. If a phone is too smart for me to figure it out, it is not that smart!
Here's the run-down.
Wilmington, DE, Early Thursday morning October 10. Put Mom on the train for Kingstree, SC. Sniff. That train, by the way, stops in Washington DC. However, I was not allowed to ride that train to Washington. Go figure. I told you those politicians are scared of me! While waiting for my train, I found a gentleman wearing a Georgia Bulldogs....excuse me.....a Georgia Dawgs sweatshirt. With his gracious and kind consent I took a picture for the blog. It's lost in the ethernet somewhere with all those other pictures I took with my phone. Thanks anyway, Sir!
Washington, DC: Thursday mid-morning. Union Station. Wow! Got the mega-bag checked, threw the 10 pound backpack over the shoulder (ouch!) and headed for the DC metro. You can buy a metro pass that will let you go everywhere you want to go as much as you want to go for only $14. That didn't make up for the fact that the government was shut-down (remember the politicians who are afraid of a middle-aged red-headed southern woman?) but it helped. I decided to go to Arlington and see the Robert E. Lee home, the cemetery, and just wander through history for a while. When I got there the drizzle had started. I spent some time in the visitor center and then wandered outside to see how far I could get with the 20 pound backpack. I made it a couple of hundred yards before I was too wet to go any further. Since I had a computer in the 25 pound backpack, I decided to give up and head over to Alexandria.
Alexandria, Virginia: Thursday mid-day. I found a nice, warm Starbucks and guess what? They had Pumpkin Spice Latte!! I happily curled up at a table with my coffee, made some phone calls and did a little work on the 'puter. Around 2 I got a call from my niece so I slung my 30 pound back pack over my shoulder and went back to the Metro Station to meet her. She took me to her favorite coffee place and we had time to sit, drink coffee and catch up. I have a remarkable niece! She also happens to be married to one of my favorite heroes.
She took me back to the metro station and I hopped a train back to Union Station. Finally, around 5:45 that evening I was able to get on the train and head for home.
Greensboro, NC: 1 am Friday morning. The train stopped just short of the station. We ever-so-slowly crawled the rest of the way into Greensboro and the train stopped. And stopped. And stopped. After a while the young lady sitting next to me went to find out how long we were going to be there. She came back a little pale and said that there had been a sad incident involving a freight train and a pedestrian on the line ahead of us and we were stuck for another hour at least. She called her grandparents who were supposed to meet her 30 minutes further on down the line and they decided that she would stop in Greensboro and pick her up there. I checked with the conductor, who said I had plenty of time for a station stop, so I wandered into the station to get a coke. Then I went back to the train to get my 35 pound back-pack, checked again with the conductor (who assured me there was no rush; we were stuck for at least 45 more minutes) and went back to the station to brush my teeth and hair. Just as I was about to pull my hair down there was a banging on the door of the Ladies Room. The station attendant told me to get out to the train, they were ready to leave NOW. Oops! I hollered good-bye to my companion and RAN with that 40 pound backpack through the station and back to the train. I think I amused the conductor and the porter. Apparently they don't often see a woman my age running that fast with a 45 pound backpack slung over her shoulder!
After we finally got going again I noticed the conductor and the porters walking up and down the aisles and getting a little more concerned each time they walked by my seat. I finally realized that they thought they had stranded my seatmate in Greensboro. I reassured them that she had made other arrangements and planned to leave. They seemed relieved to get that news!
The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. It was exciting to cross Lake Logan Martin and realize how close I was to home. We came through the tunnel and into Cook Springs but they wouldn't stop long enough for me to jump off and run the rest of the way home. Oh well; it would probably have been too much with that 50 pound backpack anyway. We were two hours late getting there, but we finally made it into Birmingham where Mr. Marvelous ~ true to his name ~ was waiting to get me.
He carried the 60 pound backpack to the car for me.
And yes, I think I did sleep in the car the rest of the way home.