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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Raystown Lake & Horseshoe Curve Experience

October 8, 2011

(as posted by my husband ;)

We began our day around 5:00 am with Ging awaking at 5:30. this is difficult for her but as usual she had us completely prepared with everything. so with our map quest in hand and GPS suction cupped to the dasboard, We were off and arrived early to our pick up point. Many were already there because senoir citizens arrive early. Ging would again be the baby of the trip although Lauren our hostess was young and looked alot like Nicole.

This was our first time using Rill's bus service and they were excellent; on time, nice and ready for us. Many of the folks had been with them and been together before because it felt like a family reunion. At exactly 7;45 am, we went to the second stop in Taylorsville to pick up a couple. After that we stopped in Middletown and had breakfast at McDonalds.

We left McDonalds and 2 hours later we arrived at the Raystown Lake Resort & Lodge. There we found the "Proud Mary", a paddlewheel criuse vessel waiting for us. We had a very traditional style buffet lunch which was really dinner served at lunch time, very delicious!

After the buffet we went on the top deck of the vessel and enjoyed a beautiful view of the lake and the beginning colors of fall. The weather was beautiful and a real highlight of the trip. The passengers were very pleasant and we enjoyed good conversation as well.

We both enjoy the fall foliage so we wanted to see a little of it before we leave for the Philippines.

Our next stop was to the special Railroad museum in Altoona. We watched a very interesting film and learned that Altoona was once the steam engine rail road capital of the world!

We had a chance to go back in time as we explored the museum and discovered what life was like during the hey day of the steam locomotive.

We learned that one of the challenges of expanding the rail road to the west, were the mountains. the answer to some of this challenge was the creation of the "Horseshoe Curve". This special curving rail gave height the rail and allows the locomotive to navigate the mountain. This was very impressive to watch since there are four parallel rails and we watched several long trains going on the curve in opposite directions.

Finally, with a very full day, it was dinner time and so we headed back with a final food stop at Gateway to alleviate our hunger. This took a lot longer that we planned since another bus had arrived there right before us. However, we were rounded up by Lauren & Joe (our driver) promptly and got on our way on time.

On the way home Rose (who was our informal leader) sent around an envelope for tips. I presented the envelope to Lauren & Joe as thanks for the great job they did. I called us the "Silver Fox" traveling group and made Rose our President.

We then arrived safely at our pick up point, drove home and reflected on a great day! Thanks to Ging!

Sent from my iPad