16 September 2010

A slow-moving train

We are in the car on I-81 already after a restful (but too short) night at a Holiday Inn Express in the vicinity of Harrisburg PA. Despite sleep -- in a bed larger than the footprint of the tent we used on the Allagash!, a morning shower and the use of a hair dryer for the first time in two weeks, it feels as though we never left the car. We travelled 540 miles yesterday and are looking at about 650 today.

The skies are overcast; the temperature is about 55 degrees. Perfect weather. The Pennsylvania countryside is as I remember it from our years in the Philadelphia area -- softly rolling with neat farms and sensational barns. I wonder if there might be a coffee table book on barns ... Anyway, the only thing marring the view is the privelence of double-decker billboards lining the interstate.

BUT, I'll not focus on that when I have a better view to savor in memory. The light is so soft and even this morning that details seem to leap forward toward one's eyes. When we crossed the Susquehanna River shortly after we got under way, Harrisburg on both sides of the river to my right, a long train, its boxcars colorful, commanded my attention. It was moving slowly eastward and was long enough that it completely crossed the river, the engines just passing out of my line of sight on one shore and cars appearing one-by-one from between buildings on the other.

Stopping to watch would have been such a treat. As it is, though, that train and Susquehanna will remain fused. And, I'll smile wistfully every time I think about it.

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