Sunday, October 21, 2007

My adventure began....

When I was a little girl, my grandma took me on a train to West Virginia. We boarded the train at the Michigan Central Station. It was 1968. I was 13 years old and can remember how nervous and excited I was to board the train. I had magazines, my "transistor radio", bubble gum and snacks. The inside of the station was beautiful with oak benches, marble floors and walls, brass fixtures and columns. Although that was many years ago, I still remember the long corridor where people gathered and waited for the train.

The station in it's glory days...

The Michigan Central Station has been closed for nearly 20 years now. It still stands, empty and abandoned, it's once beautiful corridors stripped clean of marble and brass. Trespassers, if able, climb barbed wire fences to sneak into the ruins and explore.

The station as it stands today...
Dearborn Train Station

The Amtrak station in Dearborn is where I caught my train to Chicago. It's a small building with restrooms, a few vending machines, an area with maps and schedules, and a ticket window. While I waited for my train I couldn't help but think of the old train station and how much times have changed.

Amtrak Station in Dearborn

I hear the whistle blowing!!

There is something very exciting about first seeing that light far off in the distance and knowing that the train is coming. First you see the light, then you hear the whistle, then you feel the rumble as the train pulls into the station. My heart was pounding fast out of fear and excitement and it wasn't until I tucked away my luggage and found a seat that I started to relax. That feeling was short lived as I realized that I was facing the back of the train and that I would be traveling all the way to Chicago backward. At first I panicked, since I get dizzy very easily, but as I looked around the car, I saw that the front facing seats were all taken. Backwards it had to be.
Within a few minutes the conductor called out, "All Aboard"! A moment passed and the train chugged forward. The ride was quiet and smooth and surprisingly I found that I quickly got used to traveling backwards. I popped a cd into my player, slipped the headphones on and leaned back into my seat. I finally was on my way!

(more to come tomorrow)....

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