Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Season's Greetings

Among my fellow railroad enthusiasts in Cleveland, Ohio, and indeed across much of the U.S., there exists a holiday tradition of sending out photo Christmas cards of a wintry railroad scene. While my traveling this year has prevented me from making physical Christmas cards, with this post I can continue in that tradition, at least electronically.

The scene is from Inner Mongolia’s Jingpeng Pass, near a place called Erdai. QJ #7119 leads the "End of Steam" passenger special back to Daban on the afternoon of December 9th, 2005. For the 10 years following its opening on December 1st, 1995, the Ji-Tong Railway used steam locomotives to move its passenger and freight across 900+ km of deserts, mountains and grasslands, making it the last steam-powered mainline railway in the world. Today, it is 100% diesel. I count myself lucky to have seen the end.

I'm luckier still to be with the one I love for the holidays, the first Christmas that Maureen and I will spend together in over four years of dating. This afternoon I will visit a high school with her, then we will travel to Tomokomai to spend the night with a Japanese family. From there, we go to Sapporo for the weekend, where we will have an American Christmas Eve dinner (complete with turkey, yum!) with about 10 of her fellow English teachers. Look for a post about those adventures next week. In the meantime, there are no less than three new posts (in addition to this one) on my blog this week, some with photos, and I also went back and added photos to a previous post, "The Way to Go." I hope you enjoy them and I thank you all for following my travels across China. I hope you will stay with me through Japan, for whatever adventures I might find here.

Maureen and I both wish you and yours all that your hearts desire for the holiday season, most importantly the company of loved ones and some quiet moments of both outer and inner peace. May peace prevail throughout each of our lives and the world over.


Robin Garn said...

Merry christmas for you, Scott, and your loved ones. Thank you for letting us share your thoughts and remarkable adventures.

Robin Garn
Hamburg, Germany

Edward said...

Have a great time in Japan, your words of your travels in China are amazing.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas!

We'll miss you guys here for the new years party... I'm so glad you finally made it safe and sound :)


Anonymous said...

Wrap up the gift from last year soon. What a year of friendship you provided, and I thought of you often when I saw it. Hope you all find happiness. We are well. Several wrecks but ok. Cowen

Lyn Corder said...

Scott, I am still enjoying every issue/essay of your blog and hope that you have time in the next week to "catch up" some more. I love this photo and hope to see a big print some day. Lyn