Where have you been?

Well it has been quite a while since I wrote in Shuttletrain’s Wanderings. Sorry I have not kept up. With all the new stations opening up, the new Request-It’s coming in it has been quite busy in the IMWorld. So here it goes. Way back in January, I filled in for a sick co-host on the Let’s Talk Trains radio show, by broadcasting from a winter meeting of the St. Louis Gateway Garden Railroad Club that my wife and I were attending. I just walked up to the club president and asked him if he and a couple of members could talk during the two hours show. The show turned out to be the most listened to show of the past five years. The later in February we found another hot topic, railroad trespassing. That too was a huge audience. Then in March, I got sick and was in the hospital for diabetes issue. Better now doctors quickly got me back on my feet. In April, Mother-In-Law fell broke hip, then pasted away due compilations. May was a fast month nothing really eventful. But by June, I was ready to hit the road. Traveled to Springfield, Missouri to see grade school friends and of course a railroad museum. Over the July 4th weekend, decided to drive to Georgia and Florida. We left St. Louis and drove to Metropolis, Illinois where we had dinner. Since I left straight from the contact center, I still had my Alamo shirt on. While we were sitting eating a man, his wife, child and dog came up to patio to eat their dinner. The man noticed my shirt and asked me where the nearest Alamo was,, since he did not know of any in the near vicinity.. I told that I worked at corporate contact center in St. Louis. The gentlemen then informed me that he also worked for Corporate at the Clayton Center, but was just getting ready to start working at the Weldon Center. The gentleman asked what department I worked for. I told him Information Management-Stations. He immediately asked my name. I told him, and right away he said his name was Garrett Knowles. The same GarrettKnowles that I was emailing back and forth almost every week for my role in IM Stations. We talked a little while our wives talked among themselves. After finishing dinner we headed our separate ways.

We were about a half-hour out of Nashville, when the skies opened up and rain began to fly right towards the windshield. We managed to get to the hotel for the night with no problems. The next morning, woke up to a wet Nashville, but we could not sightsee as I forgot that we would be crossing the time zone into the eastern daylight time zone. We then drove from Nashville through Chattanooga, TN to the town of Dalton, GA.. Dalton was supposed to be the sight of a meet and greet with rail fans from the area, but, because of the forgotten time change we were an hour late. Thank goodness for Facebook, I updated the Let’s Talk Trains Facebook page with a rain delayed arrival. We arrived in Dalton to a crowd of about 30 people that were there to watch trains and meet me and Mrs. Shuttletrain. After visiting for about two hours, we headed down a rainy Interstate 75, through Atlanta, and then once we got near Macon, we jumped off Interstate 75 onto Interstate16, over to the evening stop of Waycross.

The rain continued as we arrived into Waycross, then stopped. Somebody must have had an inside action, because the entire town was turned out, lining the streets and sidewalks, and any available grass to watch the scheduled fireworks. from the town stadium. We had to be very careful driving around it all, children everywhere. We could not find the hotel, so we stopped at KFC to get dinner and ask directions just as fireworks started to go off. Waycross is a town that has railroad tracks on almost every side of the town,. The hotel was nice and the front desk agent even gave us a deeper discount because she saw my Enterprise key ring. We unpacked to luggage and headed into the room just and time as the sulfur smell was getting stronger.

The next morning packed up and headed down that historic road, US highway 1. Once we got to the US Wildlife Refuge called Okefenokee, we drove through and saw lots of gators cranes and other birds. We then pulled into the town of Folkston, GA which was where going to tape an episode of the Let’s Talk Trains show. We first head to the Okefenokee Diner to have an interesting lunch,. The drove to the Folkston Funnel Rail fan Platform. We talked to some of the rail fans and watched trains go by then headed over to the museum where the show was going to recorded from. We talked with the current and past mayors. the chamber president and three rail fans about the town and their rail platform. It rained off and on and trains kept passing quite often, as Folkston is the single point that all railroad traffic into and out of Florida comes through. We visiting until five in the afternoon. We got back on US 1, headed south into Florida, then hopped on Interstate 10 west to go to Tallahassee, for our dinner. Spending the night in the town of Bonifay, Florida. Bonifay looked to be a small interesting town, but, we could not spend too much time the next morning as we had to be in Fort Walton Beach by noon.

The trip from Bonifay to Fort Walton Beach was met with signs along the way saying water over roadway. It seems that the four days of rain caused the lowing beachfronts to flood and hold water.. Driving into Fort Walton Beach, we had to drive through several inches of water. Thank goodness we had a Jeep with four wheel drive. We checked into the hotel and then got ready for the beach wedding that we were there to attend. It managed to stop raining along enough for the weeding to take place. Then the partying began, which ended early for us, as we have to leave by 645 the next morning to drive back to St. Louis, since both Mrs. Shuttletrain and I had to be a work the next day..

Coming in less than two weeks, we will be off to Park Forest, Illinois for another Let’s Talk Trains show. After that, we drive to Sycamore, IL and Milledgeville, IL to celebrate Mrs. Shuttletrain’s aunts birthday along with my 51st birthday. Morton, Illinois has a great library of railroad artifacts so we will stop there on the way back to St. Louis. In August, two show trips are planned. and one in September. I will fill you in on those next time. Till then keep travelling, and remember Look, Listen, before you cross railroad tracks.

Thanks for wandering.

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