Today, I am doing a photo montage of a wonderful trip we took to the small town of Bryson City, in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Train rides into the Nantahala Gorge are available on reservation. There are several levels from an open car, to an vintage dining car with a full meal served.
The ride is about two hours long, with a lay over of about forty five minutes at the White Water Center, where they have competitions and train for the Olympics. You ride along beautiful Lake Fontaine as it winds its way into the gorge. For someone looking for a different vacation than usual, this is a wonderful spot to visit.
Today is the anniversary of the Covid-19 shut down in the United States. We had no idea what was going on, and it seemed no one else did either. Travel bans, restrictions, quarantines, hospitalizations, and deaths all came together for the perfect storm. It has been a very different year for all of us.
We celebrated our 50th in the summer of 2019 with a European River Cruise. We are so thankful that we were able to do this before all the Covid restrictions came down. We are waiting for our second shot, and the ability to feel safe going to restaurants, church, and travel to visit family once again. Hopefully you are doing well also.
Horses and buggies can be found clopping up and down the roads of Kishacoquillas Valley in Central Pennsylvania. Big Valley lies between the towns of Lewistown and Huntingdon. It is the home of a great number of Amish and Mennonite Farmers, who, along with many others farm, this beautiful valley. People there refer to their home as Big Valley. It is the home of many of my ancestors on both sides of my family. It is one of the most beautiful places in the country. These are a few of the sights you might see on a visit there.
When our boys were young, my wife’s parents took us to the mountains on our visits to Edmonton. We camped in the Canadian Rockies and watched the long freight trains wind their way through Hell’s Gate Canyon. I was always impressed with the way railroads were built along the winding rivers providing connections with Vancouver and Calgary. One that we watched coming through the mountains was the Canadian National or the CN train. A few years ago, I decided to paint a CN train coming though the mountains. I did it in color, but I really liked the effects of the black and white! Which one do you like best?
I took this photo in 1976, when one of my students, Sharon Ulrich, won the My America contest for the state of Virginia. It included a week long trip across the state of Pennsylvania, stopping to visit all the historic sites. It included her parents and her teacher (me) and winner representatives for each state. By the time we got to Lancaster County, to ride the Strasburg Railroad, many of the folks were worn out and needed a rest… as you can see in the photo!