It was dark - pitch dark - and it was raining a very steady, cold rain. The train was obscured by a bend in the track and surrounding trees and buildings, so all we could see was the steam in the rain and moonlight. Then, the big bright headlight started to come into view, first reflecting off of the trees and buildings, then in full view. Even still, the train was hard to see, with only the silhouette really visible in the darkness. When the train let off its loud low whistle, I got chills. It was so eerie, especially in the darkness and the rain. It felt like we had been picked up and dropped back in time. Awesome is really the only word I can think of. Really. Awe inspiring. Awesome.
Anyway, we didn't actually board the train until about 8:30, and we departed at 9:00. We had a 4 hour ride to our destination, where we had a bit of a break, then a 4 hour trip back. Lucas' dad and grandpa went with us, and it was just nice to be able to sit together, with no distractions, and talk and enjoy each other. It was fun to get to have that experience with people who were genuinely enjoying themselves. It was a great day - even if there were a few hiccups in the timing and the schedule (and the rainy cold weather)!
I, OF COURSE, took a TON of pictures, and a few videos. Here are a few of them... it may take a while to preview them - I put about 25 pics up.
Just as a cool little side note, I found out after our train ride was over, that when my dad worked on the railroad, he actually used to be a part of the 765 crew for special excursions. That, for me, just made it that much more of an amazing experience. Definitely glad we did this!