Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A wedding and a photo safari

This weekend was a good one for the Elser family as we gained a wife and daughter-in-law. On Sunday, Al and Les got married in Scotland, and Al has very nicely kept up his blog, letting us know mostly what he's been eating. I never could fill him up, even as a kid, but that's another story. I will not post any pictures of the haggis that he had every time he could and posted pictures of every time he could. This is a family blog. But I did steal two pictures of Al and Lesley, one of the couple at the wedding and one of them cutting the wedding cake. 

They are indeed a handsome couple and we wish them a happy and blessed married life together. Kath and I were unable to make the wedding because I'm still not strong enough after my heart attack to make that long a flight. Besides, watching Al eat haggis would surely have caused a setback in my progress.

While Al and Les were getting married, well, probably after they got married because if the time difference, I went with my neighbor, David, who is a professional photographer, to chase an old steam locomotive, Union Pacific 844, from Denver south through Sedalia, Larkspur, and Palmer Lake. Old 844 has been restored and gleams in the Colorado sun on a Sunday morning. 

Here's a picture of the train as it approached Sedalia. It was a glorious morning, cool, but comfortable. We could hear the wail of the steam whistle as the train approached and whistled grade crossings. What a wonderful remembrance of my childhood, hearing the engine whistle as it pulled into the station to drop off my father each evening when he came home from work.

After the train passed, Dave and I got back into his car and drove south to Larkspur, a small town just west of the interstate. We drove on the county roads down there, which added to the fun of the morning. Here's the train as it passed us in Larkspur.

While we waited for the train to go through Larkspur, we could hear it whistling at grade crossings south of Castle Rock. I turned around at one point and noticed an old sled, like the one I had as a kid some 65 years ago sitting on the roof of a shed. I thought that was fun because of the memories it brought back.

And finally Dave and I drove down to Palmer Lake where old 844 made a stop to wait for a northbound coal train to clear the tracks. There must have been 2000 people in Palmer Lake, around the siding where the steam train was sitting. What a wonderful sight it must have been to those who spent the time and money to restore that old engine. Dave and I drove further south, hiked through some woods, up an embankment, and took our final shots of the train as it headed south for the New Mexico and Arizona centennial celebrations. 

And so the Elser family had a very good Sunday, October 30th. I got to relive some childhood memories, spend part of a day with a good friend, and we gained Lesley as a member of our family. Given that Al was wearing a kilt, perhaps I should have written, as a member of our clan. Welcome to the family Les.