Destination: Virginia (Part 1)
We traveled down to Virginia by Amtrak on October 14. The ride was relaxing and delayed only by an occasional freight train that had to clear the tracks before we could proceed. Our trip was uneventful except for a visibly drunken Goth (tattoos, body-piercings, garish make-up, etc) co-ed who stumbled in and out of her seat on several occasions. When she wasn’t staggering, or passed out in her seat, she spent the time sobbing. Eventually she found someone to talk to and she was chatting away happily with her newfound friends as we neared our destination.
Our train stayed close to the state’s eastern coast for much of the trip, then going inland to the present state capital at Richmond. The train station in Richmond is a great old red brick building that was saved from the wrecker’s ball. Unfortunately, much of the building is dwarfed by several super highway overpasses, another sign showing how the automobile has grown in importance over the lowly railroad.
There were several other sights to take in as our train took us closer to Williamsburg. Allegedly, one can see the burial site of Stonewall Jackson’s amputated arm as the train clacks and clatters through the Virginia countryside. The rest of the general is buried elsewhere in the state (see www.findagrave.com) but the final resting-place of his wounded appendage should be visible from the comfort of your train seat.
I tried in vain to see another monument outside of Richmond, the George Allen Memorial Spittoon. No, ole George isn’t gone, but the spittoon that collected the tobacco juice he gobbed up when he was governor rusted away a long time ago. Supposedly the monument, standing twelve feet high and polished daily to accent a great brass shine, pays tribute to this noble piece of gubernatorial furniture. I will have to make a more thorough search of the Richmond area at some future date.
For now, it’s on to Williamsburg!
(To Be Continued)