A week

Note: Edited in 2017 to remove details, some personal, most merely pointless and boring.

I’ve been snowfooting. The way I decide whether to put shoes on is, if I’m going between two places that are pretty close to each other, I won’t bother, but if I’m going out specifically to be in the snow for an extended time, then I put them on. Thus, I go barefoot to all my classes and to the doors of the dining hall (where I have to put on the sandals that I keep there). But when I went out and found a couple geocaches in town, I put on not only my shoes but also all my other winter gear, including my shapka that I got from Nana & Papaw for Christmas. I found two of them, but the other one that I was looking for was buried under too much snow. I think I’ll look for some more this weekend.

I’ve been researching the trains here. The line is owned by Union Pacific, and they redid some parts of it this fall with ribbon rail. It goes from Marshalltown to Eddyville, something like 80 miles. Trains come south out of Marshalltown every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday afternoon (and pass through town in the evening). Then they get new cars and head back up to Marshalltown later that night, presumably to refill them. They carry almost exclusively grain hoppers and tank cars, though occasionally Weyerhaeuser sends some lumber south too. The line connects in Eddyville to a much higher-volume BNSF line that runs lengthwise across Iowa, but the UP engines apparently stay on this short line. Yesterday evening I saw engines 1924, 394, 737, and 733 go south, and the same four came back north.

So that’s the trains that come through campus. There’s also a line that goes through town, the Iowa Interstate line, but I don’t see that one much, so I don’t know much about it – and anyway, I wouldn’t want to try to compete with these people. That they have a website that extensive for the Iowa Interstate railroad (not an especially large railroad) tells you a little about what there is to do in Iowa. The two lines intersect in town next to a restaurant called the Depot. I hear there’s a geocache near the rail diamond (that’s what they call an intersection) there. I may go find it this weekend.

File under: fun in the cold, barefooting, trains

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Do enough research and you could create a ticket to anywhere on the rails. Kind of sounds fun! I think Hobo-ing might make a comeback. It really does seem that they could put one People car on any freight line and for a once a year fee you could tramp anywhere. All it would cost is someone to “man” the car. It would be an open ended standby ticket that never expires.

Did you know Ronald Reagan was a sociology major?





Be glad you missed this storm. I don’t think you’d be going barefoot through our foot of snow. Hope you don’t get buried with too much work. Your classes sound interesting but also a lot of work. One of these days I’ll get into the kitchen and get some ginger snaps made. And try not to let Grandpa eat a bunch before I can get them mailed. Ha. Grandma

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