My theme this year is Places in my Heart, all about the places I've been and loved and that have mattered to me in a lasting sense.
For my regular readers, you'll see more than the usual once-a-week posts from me this month. I'm having a great time writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them, too.
L is for Last Train to Nowhere
Nome, Alaska was my home for almost a decade. Of all the places I've hung my hat over the years, Nome is one that I really felt like I belonged in. It's the place where the odds are good, and the goods are odd.
It's the home of my heart.
That's not to say it's an easy place to be. It's really small. Like 3500 people. And isolated, as in no roads lead there. And cold. It's only 45 miles from the Arctic Circle, and is bordered by the Bering Strait, which sometimes freezes for miles out to sea. And the landscape strikes a lot of people as bleak, though I love the flat openness of it, and the subtle beauties.
The Last Train to Nowhere is a rather poetically named tourist attraction. It's a train that has been left to sit on the tundra, stopped "in its tracks" forever. The locomotives were part of the mining history of Nome, once famed as a gold boomtown. Nome is littered with machinery that was brought in to excavate the riches of the earth in the 1880s, then left to rot because it was too expensive to haul it back out again. There's a small tourist industry built up in showing people these remnants of the boom times of the town and countryside.
They say that nothing ever leaves Nome, and, at least for large machinery, that seems to be true.
If you've been reading my posts during this challenge, then you already know that I kind of have a thing for lonely, isolated places and abandoned ghost towns. They pull at something in my soul in a different way than busy, populated places. Maybe its all the stories that hover over them, and the quiet that lets you spin them for yourself in your imagination.
The Last Train to Nowhere is my kind of train, going to my kind of place.