Our train was scheduled to depart at 11:30, and I think we'd taken our seats by 11:25. And then we waited, and waited, and waited. We were told that there was a slight problem with the steam engine and we'd be departing in a few minutes. We did start to move, but then stopped for a few minutes to load bicycles. No big deal. We started again, and barely made it out of the station when we stopped again. We were blocking the intersection and drivers were getting annoyed and turning around. We started rolling again, only to stop a few seconds later. We had only gone far enough to get out of the intersection. After a few minutes we finally started--and kept--moving.
Ross took a couple of photos of me and commented that the battery was getting low on the camera. I decided to change the camera battery, and discovered that the batteries from our old camera are slightly different and we can't use them in our new camera! I was a little bummed. I have no idea how we'd never realized this before.
The scenery was great, and I was able to take a few photos. About half a mile (or less) from Frostburg the train stopped again. The conductor from the rear (diesel) engine came rushing through our car toward the front of the train. We were told that the train couldn't make it up the hill, so they were going to split the train up. We were abandoned on the tracks. I would say we sat there almost an hour. A second diesel engine came from the rear and pushed us up the hill. I don't think we were rolling for 5 minutes when we stopped again. We were told we would have 35 minutes in Frostburg (we were originally supposed to have 90) and that the train would leave at 3:30. Originally we were scheduled to be back in Cumberland at 3:00! It took us 10 minutes to disembark from the train--so we only had 25 minutes before we had to be back on the train. Luckily I had packed a snack/lunch, so we didn't have to scramble to try and find food.
We walked across a grassy area to the train station, which was packed. We hoofed it up the hill to Frostburg and I asked someone where we could get ice cream. Just a block or two up the street we got some ice cream in a little cafe and used their restroom. Then it was time to head back down to the train. The steam engine was still on the turntable when we got back and it was sputtering. I decided to take a picture and couldn't find the camera anywhere! I got really nervous. We headed back to the very last passenger car, where we had been sitting and found the seats had been rearranged. The other passengers were very nice and checked their seats, but the camera was nowhere to be found. I dumped out my bag, but there was no camera. I sat down and started crying. After comforting me a bit Ross went to talk to the crew. When he returned I was super relieved to see he had the camera. They had found it.
The train ride back to Cumberland seemed lightning fast compared to the ride up to Frostburg. The announcer apologized for the delays. It seems the breaks were sticking on the steam engine and the deisel engine overheated. He said even without those problems we would have never made it up the mountain with all the cars we had on the train. What? Apparently they were planning on splitting up the train all along. Not cool. We arrived in Cumberland without the steam engine at about 4:30 pm. It took a while to get off the train. The passengers waiting for the 4:30 departure were packed in the station.
We walked around Cumberland and actually got to see the train leave at 6p! We also saw some of the cyclist riding back into the station at about the same time. Maybe one day we'll take the train up and ride our bikes back down.
Ross and I decided to get some pie for dinner. I'd heard about a place that has lots of pies, so we headed out only to find it closed up. A sign said reopen 2011, but I'm not so sure about that. The place looked abandoned. We turned around and found pie at another place in Hancock.
We ended up driving a long and windy road back to the B&B in the dark. I had my slice of wild berry pie with some tea and was ready for bed at 8:30. I had taken the battery charger for the camera battery and decided to charge the battery. That didn't work because the charger was for the old camera batteries. Ugh. I went to sleep feeling totally drained. What a long day.