Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Serendipity: To Find Something Nice Without Trying

So I had the day off and it was a beautiful day to have free.  And I needed to go to a Michaels to look for a couple of items.  There is one in Muskogee but why not try new territory: Fort Smith.  I meandered along on route 64 in no real hurry and stopping to grab geocaches and munzees (of course).  Just outside of Fort Smith I came across an old railroad depot with what looked like a line of people boarding a train.  I could tell it was just an excursion train since there were only 5 cars.
  But the car that caught my eye was the Silver Feather, a 1940s dome car.
That's right, the kind of car where you sit upstairs surrounded by windows in every direction and enjoy the view.  So I stopped in to get the scoop and found myself buying a ticket on the Arkansas Missouri line (or what's left of it) from Van Buren to Winslow, Arkansas. 

It was just a 2 1/2 hour lunch time ride through a small piece of the Ozarks with a box lunch, some lovely scenery, and some very knowledgeable period dressed crew.  Of course there were a couple of real railfans on board and then just some occassional train nuts like me.  I mean, I could have gone through the drive up window at Burger King for a lot less time and money, but how often do you get a chance like this?  I really enjoyed the ride and talking with my fellow riders.  A few knew about the Folkston Funnel and were envious of my many visits there.  The route crossed 3 large trestles and went through a nice tunnel ending up in

Winslow where the engine disconnected, turned around, and took us back down the mountain.  Yep, much better than Burger King.

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