The Big Boy 4014 portion of the guys' trip is now over. The Big Boy and the 844 got home to Cheyenne yesterday. I watched some of Trains Magazine's live feed. As they talked about it doing a victory lap as it headed into the shed I almost got teary. What a glorious, glorious beast and what an accomplishment, and tribute.
The other glorious accomplishment is that of Leo's trip. He has planned and saved for this trip for years and had every route and day figured out perfectly. I am immensely proud of him. Ernie and I haven't necessarily given the boys the best lessons in making money or climbing corporate ladders, but we have taught them to believe in their loves and to have passions. Well, I don't suppose we have taught them, they always were pretty hard-wired little guys, but we encouraged them, just as my parents encouraged my passions. There are different kinds of successes in life. Owen and I were just talking about that yesterday. I am proud of my boys for who they are and the strong personalities that they own so beautifully. I'm particularly proud of this beautiful boy today, as he and Ernie head into rural Montana and winter weather. Yes. Snow.
They leave the Union Pacific and the Big Boy and head off to hunt for Milwaukee Road substations.
I talked to Ernie for a bit last night. He and Leo are utterly exhausted. And you know if 19-year-old Leo is exhausted, the um, slightly older Ernie must be totally wiped out. I've asked them to stop on their trip to Billings, Montana and get a picture of the Mint Bar in Sheridan. We shall see. They spurned my request AGAIN that they go the Luxury Diner in Cheyenne. They don't understand that it's not that I really care about what they're eating…I just want to live vicariously…and the Luxury has some nice neon. Oh well. They DID come through with some wonderful pictures for me from Cheyenne, so I can't complain.
Poor little guy lost his neon, but he's still delightful.