A Train Ride

A few weeks ago, my dad invited us to join him for a trip to the Historic Cass Railroad. They have old coal-powered trains that go up to an old logging camp. There’s a lot of interesting information about the logging industry, and the ride through the forest is beautiful.

It did not begin auspiciously…

The train is very loud, between the whistles and the engine. It also smells sulfurous. Oh, and Petra decided she wasn’t going to have a good time.

But, in a serious upgrade from when I did this as a kid, they now offer earplugs. And the smell dispersed when the train started moving.

The trains were kind of beautiful, like something out of a picture book. My dad got some great pictures of them:

The smoke was incredible, swirling up into the trees, filtering the light. I nearly choked when we passed another train at the switchback. It takes a lot of fire to move that kind of weight. Dad said, “Can you imagine what Grand Central must have been like back then?”

The kids enjoyed getting a snack and running around at the logging camp at the top. The kids joked that Silas would get kicked out of the logging camp immediately because talking at the table is against the rules.

After the train, we went to Greenbank to see if we could hear any aliens. They had a neat science center with a tiny model of one of the telescopes. I was impressed with some of the exhibits they used to teach concepts about space and imaging. We also walked out by one of the telescopes. It was only *after* that that I realized we probably shouldn’t have been using a digital camera out there. Ooops. I hope I didn’t mess up any science!

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