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“Life is like a train station, people come and go all the time, but the ones that wait for the train with you are the ones that are worth keeping in it.” ~ Unknown

May 16, 2023

Today we were in the town of Touron on the Rhone River The tour options for today were a hike to the Hermitage and wine tasting, a wine and chocolate tasting, or a steam train ride which is what we chose. About 125 miles north of the city of Avignon along the Rhône River in southern France is Doux Gorges, The area features some of the most beautiful and remote wilderness in France and attracts tourists, hikers, and bikers from all over. A  network of railway lines was constructed between 1898 and 1903 to provide access to markets for farms and vineyards in remote areas of the region. When the railway network closed in 1968, a group of enthusiasts decided to acquire it and some of its rolling stock. In 1969 a tourist operation started between Saint-Jean-de-Muzols and Lamastre. The Meyzieu Tourist Railway Company was created, and supported by a group of volunteers who restore and maintain the railroad rolling stock. In 1970 access was restored to the railway station at Tournon, and the new Tournon – Lamastre line, 21 miles long, was officially opened for full service.

We boarded the train and took about a thirty-minute ride through rolling hills, farmlands rich with grape vines, forests with rabbits, and wild boar, and aqueducts constructed in Roman times

When people ask me how the trip is going, I would say it is a wonderful trip. We have had conversations with great people, some that we knew, and some new friends. We have had lovely tours where I am certain we learned important historical and geographical events I will be remiss to recall. The part I have enjoyed the most is being relaxed and listening to others perhaps over one or more glasses of wine. To me life is about making memories, hopefully more good ones than bad. Today’s excursion was not too short and not too long and interesting. The steam train and the whistle blown made me think of some of the lyrics of the Johnny Cash song Folsom Prison Blues

“I hear the train a-coming, it’s rolling round the bend And I ain’t seen the sunshine since I don’t know when I’m stuck in Folsom prison and time keeps dragging on But that train keeps a rolling on down to San Antone “

“Fill your heart with better memories, better actions, better friends. That’s all any of us can do.”

~ Wolverine in X-23: Vol 3, # 10

This afternoon was a very relaxing time as we make our way down the Rhone River to Avignon. We sat on our deck for a while and watched the world go by. We went through a few locks that control the water level, the sounds of birds were spectacular, the interesting houses and jut the sounds of the breeze though the grasses and the sun though the clouds.

“There’s a lot of beauty in oridinary things. Isn’t that kid of the point?” ~ Pam Beasley in The Office

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