Ever since I can remember, I have loved trains.

My father worked for the Wabash Railroad for forty-two years, where he helped build steam engine train locomotives; the Wabash Railroad built their own steam locomotives.

We were quite poor when I was young and I remember when we were in the Great Depression and the one luxury we had was free railroad passes for the entire family because dad worked for the railroad. I loved trains and train travel. I particularly liked steam engines, which was all I knew until after WWII, when steam engines were replaced by diesel locomotives, which were not nearly as exciting or glamorous as steam locomotives.

Marlisa had always wanted to go to the Grand Canyon, and so we found a brochure on Travel Tours, and were enticed by one promising to “Take the Train to the Grand Canyon”, which was perfect for us both.


Personally, I had already been to the Grand Canyon before, and was impressed; as someone once said, “It is a great place to dispose of old razor blades”!

First of all, I want to say Marlisa and I both had a wonderful time; so all of my own complaints are just a bit of my typical “curmudgeon talk” about inconsiderate, irresponsible, inefficient people, businesses, and Acts of Congress. Don’t get me wrong, I actually enjoy life every day, and especially enjoy complaining good naturedly; I actually think sources of objectionable behavior is more comical than terrible. As Shakespeare once said, “What fools these mortals be!”

For example, I think it is ridiculous that a nation like the United States of America, that is supposedly the wealthiest nation in the world and the most technologically advanced, has such totally inadequate public transportation system that Marlisa and I had to drive four hundred miles, just to ride a train for a two hour trip to the Grand Canyon!

Meanwhile, back back home in San Diego, the people are wasting hours and hours of their life sitting alone and parked in their exceedingly fast automobiles on the freeway, continuously burning gasoline, just trying to get home from work. And, our driving our car 400 miles to get on our train, which was according to the travel agent, the most feasible way to get to our train.


I’m reminded that once when I was in London, I walked two blocks from my hotel to a “Bullet Train”, I boarded that “Bullet Train” and in less than three hours, sitting comfortably in an overstuffed chair with a table, and stewards continually asking if I wanted anything to eat or drink, I was getting off the train in Paris, France.

Personally, I am old enough to remember when the Auto, Steel, Rubber, and Oil Industries convinced the American People that God intended them to use a fossil fuel powered automobile to drive their ass to work and back, alone, and parked for hours of their life on the freeway; and at the same time, they convinced Americans to dispose of trains, street cars, and dispose of the rails.

And I’m old enough to remember before the American epidemic of obesity!

I remember as a child in 1935, seeing my 70 year old grandfather walking home from work at the Wabash Railroad Car Shops where he was a blacksmith’s helper, and he lived a couple of miles from his work place. Grandpa lived to be 87 years old and he never owned a horse, a car, or a bicycle, nor wasted his money taking a bus home from work.

And so it was that Marlisa and I boarded our choo-choo train in Williams Arizona and departed the train at the Grand Canyon Rim. There were a number of old locomotives and passenger cars at the Williams Arizona Station on display , as well as entertainment and a restaurant.


During our trip to the Grand Canyon, we were entertained by cowboys singing or chasing robbers, and being served food and drink.

And, I watched a elderly grandfather with his two feisty grandchildren, sitting in front of us, and one of the grandkids said to his grandfather, “How about a little ice cream?”

His grandfather answered, “How about a little Dramamine?”

I love the drama of the people on public transportation!

And thus it was that I enjoyed the old train, and Marlisa thoroughly the Grand Canyon hole in the ground.

It is interesting that the Grand Canyon is a hole in the ground and the rim of the canyon is at a very high Altitude; which is particularly great for Marlisa because Marlisa is Swiss and worships mountains and hiking up and down mountains. And, I graciously let her hike up and down and around the canyon while I waited for her at the bar; Marlisa is fearless, of course, and I’m proud of her.


As for me, I couldn’t understand why I felt uncomfortable and light headed, and finally decided that I was suffering Altitude Sickness that I had never before encountered, and at the same time I suffered from acrophobia; however, I was very satisfied, getting no closer than 10 feet from the edge of the canyon. Personally, I prefer looking up rather than down, you never know when that canyon wall might collapse.

And a fine time was had for all.

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