Day 4 – 140 motorcycle miles – 840 train miles
We arrived at the auto train station ready and anxious to get aboard.
A train representative waved us out of the long waiting line of cars to the motorcycle loading area. Our bikes were loaded onto the bike rack and tied down. It was a very simple process. After we were satisfied everything was secure, we headed to the train station to wait for boarding of the train which began at 2:30.
We sat next to an elderly couple in the waiting area. The Mr. was carrying a train magazine and so was I. It seems we both had a love for a locomotive driven machine. His dad used to work in the freight yard in Philadelphia. I just love trains.
Excitement built and before long the waiting room filled up. More bikes began to arrive. The attendant told Frank they expected 17 bikes on the train today. Most of the 17 were a group of bikers from Brandon Florida HOG Chapter on their way to Laconia for bike week.
Boarding the train began right on time and overall, was no muss, no fuss. Once in our room, our attendant, JD came in and gave us a breakdown of our suite facilities. After we got settled we went to the lounge for a wine and cheese welcome … then back to the room to freshen up for dinner at 7:00.
The fun thing about dinner on the train is you are seated with people you don’t know. We sat with Mr. & Mrs. Shaffer, both retired teachers in their late 80’s from New York. They have traveled on the train back and forth from NY to FL 17 times. Mrs. Shaffer was an elementary school teacher for 25 years. Mr. Shaffer said he was a teacher, as well, a truant officer, which surprised me because I didn’t realize a truant officer was considered a teaching position. He said not anymore but it was in the old days. Prior to his teaching days Mr. Shaffer was in the infantry in France during WWII. Needless to say, it was interesting listening to him and Frank, a Vietnam Vet, discuss war and service.
We became fast friends with the Shaffer’s. We shared the details of our New England trip. Mr. Shaffer said he admired our adventuresome spirit and that he most regretted not traveling more in his lifetime. He and the wife were afraid of flying so they were limited to cruising, car or train travel. We suggested they come along with us on our motorcycle trip but they declined the offer. That would have been a hoot. Oh well, maybe next time!
Tip for Today – Travel as much as you can while you can. Life is short and you only live once!