On Saturday Barb traveled up to PA with me. I was meeting DCUE for a private tour around East Broad Top, a closed railroad, and Barb was visiting her sister who lived in the same town, or village as Barb pointed out; it's really small. We drove up the back way, enjoying the scenery and lack of interstate traffic that the rest of the group would be part of. The morning was very enjoyable until I spotted a couple of old cars rusting in a hedge, and stopping to take a photo, discovered that my camera battery was still charging on the kitchen wall at home. I was distraught. A Google search and a call to Barb's relative illuminated the fact that we were in the Boondocks, there wasn't a camera store around for miles. But then Barb offered me the use of her camera, which I didn't even know she had with her, and my day brightened again. It was a darn sight better than my iPhone and once I had a look at it, even thought it didn't have a Manual setting, it had a lot of interesting modes, so I experimented throughout our visit.
We stopped in at Barb's niece,s house first since they lived a 2 minute walk from the train depot. Andy and Debbie were very friendly and my ears pricked up when Barb told me about Andy's passion, turkeys. apparently he has a few of them, stuffed, in the basement, and an amazing collection of turkey callers. This is an aspect of the world which I didn't even know existed and I was intrigued to learn more. Andy's Facebook page is here. I didn't have time to see his collection as I had to meet my group so I left Stuart for Barb to use and I met up with the crew.
East Broad Top is
the last original narrow gauge railroad east of the Rockies and the
oldest surviving narrow gauge in America. A steam train used to run for tourists but now the place is closed and the owner wants to sell. It opened in 1856 and at its height, it had over 60 miles of track and approximately 33 miles of main line used primarily for transporting coal. It was sold for scrap a hundred years later when the coal industry declined but its new owner decided not to scrap it and in 1961 opened it as a tourist attraction which ran trains until 2011 when it closed. The EBT was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and is also on America's Most Endangered Places List. Currently, the East Broad Top Preservation Association is working to acquire and preserve the railroad.
We were allowed in the expansive tool shop and the shuttered buildings that housed the steam trains.
I walked back down the road wondering if the folks at the B and B would have a cell phone number for Andy or Debbie so they could call Barb, or whether I was just going to have to just wait until God knows when for her to come back for me. I got to the bottom of the hill and couldn't believe my luck when I spotted Stuart crossing over the railway lines at the other end of town. I stuck my thumb out and Barb pulled up, wondering why on earth I was standing there. Only by a fluke had she decided to come this way, she was planning on heading out to Andy and Debbie's son's birthday party, which I had forgotten about.
We walked back over to the EBT buildings again which were now closed up and found the others.