|"St. Louis Union Station Hotel" ©Mary Montague Sikes|
I thought about my heroine Meg from A Rainbow for Christmas and wondered if her journey would have been difficult even in a car. Of course, there would be no gasoline, so that imaginary trip would have been impossible. Still, it would be fun today to follow along one of those wagon trails and imagine what the journey was like in 1869.
When the rails were laid for train tracks, things changed in a big way. It's wonderful and exciting to visit amazing old hotels today and realize they came along with the emerging railroad system. The El Tovar on the edge of the Grand Canyon, the Hotel Del Coronado across from San Diego, California, the Brown Palace in Denver, Colorado. These elaborate hotels and many more grew from the needs of railroad passengers, and they helped change our way of travel. They were constructed around the turn of the 20th Century, not that many years later than Meg's journey.
One of my favorite hotels is the one built around the old St. Louis Union Station. The railroad station dates back to the late 1800s. Trains fascinate me still, but I'm very glad people no longer travel by covered wagon.
On December 9 at 8:05, I will be the radio guest of Neal Steele, XTRA 99.1 and will discuss A Rainbow for Christmas. A podcast of the live show will be available at the Chesapeake Bay Writers web site .