What an amazing day, for all sorts of reasons. Tom had suggested to me beforehand that this was the best opportunity to meet the board as they would all be in the same place at one time and not be distracted by all the responsibilities of running a conference. I have to say their Parlor coach was quite something – at the back of the train with panoramic views of the vista behind the train as we ascended to over 10,000 ‘.
I spent time with individual members of the Lexington board, giving each one a Friends’ brochure containing the Richie Starr’s HAZ leaflet and information about the S&DR and the Friends. The brochure was very well received and served its purpose perfectly. I also gave each of them a present from the Friends which took the form of a beautiful bookmark (two separate designs) linked in with the S&DR (e.g. Timothy Hackworth’s plug wheel). I was introduced to a number of people they thought I ought to meet and who might want to meet me. I felt I was warmly welcomed into their circle – I can honestly say that I have made some valuable connections and that people went out of their way to be welcoming.
The journey itself was absolutely stunning, especially once we were travelling through the Rockies. We stopped once or twice, and on one of these stops a photo opportunity was created for us. My John got off the train grumbling that he’d never be able to get a decent photo of the train approaching as there were too many people – they backed the train up and then it smoked its way back towards us hooting and emitting water vapour from its boiler and it made a tremendous sight as it approached. But what amazed me more was the way the crowd simply formed a line so that no one was in the sight line – and when some poor unsuspecting, ignorant woman got in the way, they made sure she didn’t stay there long. I was lucky – I had Bob and a new acquaintance to advise me and make sure I didn’t commit such sacrilege myself. I believe John managed to get some video of the train and recorded it as well. He also took some nice photos of me on and off the train wearing my Timothy Hackworth plug wheel English silk scarf.
By the time we got back to Santa Fe it was dark and the conference was over.