For us, the game was in the chase. As we drove, we noted and put together bits and pieces of conversations and detector broadcasts from the scanner, looked up the mileposts, consulted our plat books and maps, calculated distances and rates, and went for the intercept. A good day was one in which you could cover lots of ground while seeing lots of trains. We loved to explore the "blue highways", gravel roads and small towns.
Jan didn't care to give up and head home, and she positively hated to leave when she knew something was coming. She was always ready to stay for one more train. Below, she is at Halpin encouraging me to wait for those last trains before sunset. We were on our way home from Galesburg Railroad Days in the summer of 1997. Cytoxin and Adriomycin are having their nasty way with her body, and we've been on the road much of the day, but she knows that the CZ and maybe a freight are on their way down the hill, so we will wait.
Her patience produced the two images below. Even with a low-res
"first generation" digital camera, they were both definitely worth the
The kids and I, with lots of wonderful support from relatives and friends, planned and pulled off a grand memorial service for her on Monday. Many thanks to all of you who've written to offer support and encouragement as this brave woman made the most of the last few years of her life.
Excursions on Virtual Train Watching in Iowa will resume soon.
Best, DT - February 3, 2000