This is the second and final installment about my "Mandy weekend."
Because of traffic issues on the Bay Bridge, I stayed overnight in the area rather than drive home and back the next day. At my motel, there were a couple of groups being hosted. Sunday morning, I went down for breakfast, dressed as in the picture below. The place was very crowded...and there were a lot of folks sitting/standing around talking. I scanned the folks in the lobby as I walked through.
Nobody was paying any attention to me, but I noticed a man sitting with a woman and looking the other way, who bore more than a passing resemblance to a friend of ours from Ohio. We were about 450 miles (more or less) from his house to where we were staying. They seemed to be talking with others in the group, as if they were acquainted. The woman did not bear any resemblance to his SO, so it probably wasn't "who it looked like", but I got breakfast and disappeared in a hurry, just in case. He happened by coincidentally just in time to see me check out, and drive away. He didn't appear to pay any attention to me...and with no kids himself, I really wouldn't think his interests are in in group travel with kids... We'll see the couple over the holidays or in January, so if it was "who he resembled," either the topic may come up then...or he'll have forgotten about it, which is more likely. Maybe I should be concerned, but I'm not.
Have you heard of the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad? Back in the day, it connected Baltimore MD with York PA, over a curving and tortuous 77 mile route. Since 1992 the MD and PA Railroad Preservation Society has owned the village of Muddy Creek Forks, which contains many original buildings including the old general store. The hamlet now is center stage for all the Society's railroad equipment.
Mandy at Muddy Creek Forks
Begun as narrow gauge, and with numerous rail companies formed after 1867, it took until 1889 for through train service to finally begin on this rail line. The Maryland & Pennsylvania itself was established in 1901 by the merger of the Baltimore & Lehigh Railway with the York Southern, and conversion to standard gauge. It hauled furniture from Red Lion, slate from Delta, and milk from local farms, along with countless rural residents to their jobs in the city. This was despite the fact that its "fast" passenger trains took four hours to travel those 77 miles. Today, via I-83, you can drive the 53 road miles in a bit under an hour if traffic is light. Is it any wonder the railroad didn't survive?
Loss of a US Mail contract doomed passenger service. The last passenger train was discontinued in 1954. The Maryland division from Whiteford south was abandoned in 1958, but the Pennsylvania portion survived into the 1980's. At that time, the preservation society stepped in to preserve a piece of this little railroad. Hence the Muddy Creek Forks historic site, with 3.6 miles of original trackage, exists today. (Though only a portion of it is operable.)
The sharp curves and deep cuts on the property...
Can you imagine regular locomotives with modern equipment traversing these deep cuts and sharp "S" curves? It would be a great railroad for a dedicated model railroader to create in miniature!
My visit there was much the same as at the other railroad...while no gender-specific greetings were used, all the proper 'assistances' that a gentleman would give a lady were provided...including on two occasions, a male crew member offering his hand as I got on and off the equipment. Nobody stared my way. I'll never know if I was "clocked." It simply doesn't matter. I had a wonderful visit...and a fabulous weekend.
Now, Mandy goes back into her suitcase...
More adventures later!