May 24, 2013: A Train Thing

Not my pix...couldn't get me phone out fast enough (and I was riding too fast :))
I really love trains. It's a memory thing. It's an Omaha thing. It's a kid thing. And the trains always notice me too. It's as though we know our own kin.

I hit the trail on my bike today and rode my old standard; the Papio Trail. There is a portion from Pacific Street north to Dodge that runs parallel to the train tracks. Today as I pedaled furiously, a massive UP engine roared up beside me. The engineer immediately gave me a big wave and a long blow of the train whistle. He must have known upon eye contact that I was one of them.

My childhood home rested a block from the tracks. The trains chugged through my town many times throughout the day and night. As kids, we were enamored with these huge locomotives. We chased them. We counted them. We played on the tracks.

The trains were a part of our town. I went to bed each night with the background sound of a moving train. Others would consider this noise. To me, the sound of a train motoring down a track is nothing short of a lullaby.

Today as the engineer greeted me with the shriek of the whistle, I road beside the train trying to keep up as the wind blew through my hair. It was just as I did at age ten, running along side the track in pig tails. The history and importance of Union Pacific in Omaha as well as my own kids' love for trains, makes my fascination even a bit deeper.

And I do know that it is going to be a great weekend. A chance encounter with a friendly train is a tell-tale sign. Only good can come out of that. I know this from experience.


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