Aug 102016
 

A silver back gorilla selfie with another amazing silver back gorilla (the train engine). I have been enthralled with trains almost as far back as I can remember, which if you know me well, you know that is a long way back. I am writing about a couple major thoughts I wanted to share this morning as I was about to leave Sheridan, Wyoming.

image Silver back gorilla selfie with silver back gorilla

Silver back gorilla selfie with silver back gorilla

First, I feel I live a blessed life, while it has been a challenging year full of growth and change, I am always reminded of the divine in the simple things through serendipity, a coffee shop by the train engine I have never stopped to see, named Andi’s, my sisters chosen name. Of course in the past it was due to time constraints I felt real or not. The slogan is “My happy place” is spot on and they make an awesome espresso, have a great shop and lovely atmosphere. I normally go to City Brew as my go to place when here, however today I was going to just head on to the next leg of my journey as if I was on a forced march like usual.  Except that special bright voice in my conscience was whispering to me I was going to miss something special. It bantered what are the odds, which is greater, the chance of the name in a special place to me near “a moment in time” I just took out for me or my need to get moving again back to my logical planned journey’s timeline? It is my hope for you that you have muses’ that help guide you, as all I can tell you emotionally, is that all the math and logic in the universe pails to the wonder of the magic that is in each of our beings.

image Andi's Coffee House

Andi’s Coffee House

I was looking at this amazing coal steam engine, built in 1940 by Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company (C.B. & Q RR CO.) now BNSF owned by Berkshire Hathaway. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago,_Burlington_and_Quincy_Railroad ) I was thinking of all the people engaged in this amazing engineering project and those that operated it. I mean look at the size (106 feet, 5”, so twice the length of a 53 foot tractor trailer), the power needed to get it moving (67500 lbs starting tractive effort https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tractive_force ). Look what it takes to climb to the conductors’ compartment. Of course I had to do some research into the history and terms of the business and engineering terms. Both are still used today to my glee. Part of my thought process when ogling this train engine with unadulterated engineering lust, was what an amazing beauty: look at those strong arms, pistons, amazing wheels and that boiler! That is an amazing silver back gorilla for its time and mode of energy conversion used to haul massive loads for the transportation industry.

 

image Mohawk 4-8-4 Coal Steam Engine

Mohawk 4-8-4 Coal Steam Engine

Now the businesses that were ancillary to this operation have changed as well, the train station is a bar, the tracks still serve the newer diesel/electric train engines and the amazing loads they transport over vast distances to places cellular coverage is weak or non-existent. The hotel Sheridan Inn is still serving travelers however not the ones from the train passenger cars, now it is a larger more diverse clientele from train personnel, truck drivers (if not sleeping in their cabs), iron horses from motor cycles, going for the annual pilgrimage to Sturgis, to automobiles on commutes for business or pleasure.

image Sheridan Inn

Sheridan Inn

image Sheridan Train Station

Sheridan Train Station

My point here is our collective history is full of examples of those people, industries and countries that change through evolution over time or disruption, yet at their core are still the same, transportation, hospitality, energy, engineering, project management and that unyielding desire to journey forward with our yearning for discovery.

My other point here is that if you are kind enough to yourself (and listen to those whispers from your muses) you will take the time to enjoy an excellent almond milk Aztec mocha while reflecting on your many blessings born from challenge and passion of loves. Some by my age are bitter sweet like your sister (Andi), mothers (Jackie, Judy, Phyllis), fathers (Wayne and Al), mentors (Bob McVicker) and rich and vibrant like your sons, beloved spouse, dear friends and mentors that sustain your connection to the future and related endeavors.

image Almond Milk Aztec Mocha

Almond Milk Aztec Mocha