Wednesday, July 20, 2016


With my wife recently visiting her sister who lives in mid-America, Mandy was finally able to step out of the suitcase,  to play with trains...real ones...for a while.  

One Saturday, my destination was the Walkersville Southern, a small, but very nice little tourist line operating over former Pennsylvania Railroad rails, between end-of-track at Route 26 north of Frederick to Walkersville, over the washed out (in Hurricane Agnes - 1972) - and repaired by the State in 1996, Monocacy River Bridge.  Before abandonment, the PRR used to go all the way into Frederick to service local industries and interchange with the B&O.  This included some street running.  But that service is long gone, although the rails remain visible in places.  Development has seriously encroached, Route 26 is too busy for the State to put the grade crossing back, and the industries, like the PRR, are long gone.  

The WS has several small diesels (as in GE 44 tonners and the like) plus a few smaller "critters." And a small group of former Long Island Railroad passenger coaches reside there, plus two open air flatcars with roofs in case of rain.  But there are no resident steam engines.

Being early, I had a chance to walk around and check out the equipment before train time.  And even had a chance to do a selfie by one of them.  They tell me that the rusty car way behind me was a former "subscription" car, where you paid your regular fare, plus a subscription fee to ride in it.  And if you didn't "know someone" who was "a subscriber" you didn't get to buy a subscription.  Interesting.  I don't think that practice has survived the passage of time...   It's being restored, so someday it may be possible to step back in time and ride it again.

By the way, don't look closely at the journal box on the middle axle beside me in the picture.  It's a bit askew, obviously due to a small derailment.  Guess they'll have to fix that before they use it again...

When I bought my ticket, the late teen male ticket clerk didn't use any gender-specific greeting for me.  Interesting...did he clock me?   I sat there waiting for train time, contemplating that as other women bought tickets.   But - surprise...he didn't address any of them as "Ma'am," or for that matter, by any female terms.  The even more interesting thing was that he didn't use "Sir" to address the men.  I wonder if that's the way of the future?  Don't greet people as the gender they appear to be, that way you can't ever guess wrong.   There's a certain strange allure to that line of thought...

While on board one of the two open air cars, (it was far too hot to sit in the open-window, un-air conditioned coaches and not long before boarding, my car's thermometer read a toasty 100 degrees),  folks had to pass by me in order to get to a bench seat.  (Coincidence, or intentional?  You KNOW that answer!)  The patrons were of all ages...seniors, middle age, teens and the 6 to 12 age group.  As people passed by, I watched to see if they paid any attention to this heavyset girl in a skirt, blouse and sandals, who was wearing sunglasses (don't you just love sunglasses?)   

And the correct answer was...nobody paid me any mind.  I heard "excuse me" numerous times, with "Ma'am" added a few times by the older folks. but nobody did any obvious double-takes or lengthy stares at me.   Everyone was too excited about their train ride to worry about anyone else's issues.  Even the kids...   

It was a nice little excursion.   But afterwards, it was time to move on...

Mandy likes to visit places with unusual names...remember my visit to Accident, MD - from a previous post?  After leaving Walkersville, I did some rural exploring.   Yes, Virginia, there really is a place named Detour, Maryland.  

It was relatively easy to find, as Detour Road pointed me in the right direction.   But I was having trouble finding the next town - with another unusual name.  After driving around for fifteen minutes, I finally had to stop (in Detour) at the only open store on a Saturday...a general store.    The two ladies there not only addressed me as female, they gave me directions to Ladiesburg.   Don't you just love the name?

According to the following blog  (,  the official local story has it that the first eight residents of the town included seven women and only one man. Hence, Ladiesburg!  There used to be a railroad station, general store and Post Office.  All are empty or gone now, leaving just a random group of houses.   I wonder how many gentlemen live in Ladiesburg?

Since both of these little villages have been around for a long while, they should have been on my GPS.  But they weren't!   Too small, I guess.  And there's not much left except the novelty of the names, to attract visitors.  In Ladiesburg, there's not even a store to buy a bottle of pop...(soft drink, soda pop or Diet Coke, whatever you call it in your locale!)  How times have changed...

Yours truly in Ladiesburg...

Perhaps one day soon, I'll visit Secretary, or maybe Crapo.

A little-known factoid...this day was the longest I've ever worn clip earrings...from 9 AM to about 7 PM.  Lets just say that pierced earrings would have been a whole lot more comfortable.  But that's not likely to happen any time soon!

Stay tuned for more...



  1. It sounds like a wonder excursion, driving around in a skirt and top, wearing earrings and checking out some old towns and old trains. The idea of being out in 100 degree weather wearing a wig is a bit daunting but it looks like all went well for you.

    1. Yes, it was a wonderful day. And weekend. But remember, there's one more day to post about - this one covered only Saturday!

      And yes, it was hot. But I take any opportunities, regardless of the weather (I get so few of them!)

      Stand by...