Adventure Away from Home
Stinky is even more excited than usual about the adventure he has planned for Periwinkle and himself this week. After his walkabout and being grounded, his mom and dad finally have agreed that he and Periwinkle can visit someplace new; though, with a few caveats. Dad Tom will be taking them part way, meeting them at their destination and bringing them home. Stinky decided that was way better than staying at home.
He impatiently waits for Periwinkle to arrive. When she tumbles out of the teleportation tunnel, Stinky grabs Periwinkle’s paw and leads her to his dad’s car without even a paw hug or whisker kiss. Once inside and buckled into their seat belts, Stinky apologizes and gives Periwinkle a huge whisker kiss.
He tells Periwinkle, “I am so anxious for us to have a new, real adventure, I want to get on the road. I hope it’s okay.” Stinky takes Periwinkle’s paw in his, gives it a squeeze and then settles in for the car ride. Periwinkle places her head on Stinky’s shoulder, content to be together.
Both tabbies nap until they arrive at the Clifton Forge railway station. Dad Tom gets Stinky’s new backpack, which Periwinkle gave him last week; the tabbies release their seat belts and hop from the car. Dad Tom gives them each a hug, tells them to be careful and reminds them he will meet them at the train depot in Thurmond, West Virginia.
Riding the Rails
Periwinkle asks, “Are we going on a train trip?”
Stinky giggles and tells Periwinkle they are going on a special train trip. After a short wait the train arrives and makes a brief stop to pick up the tabbies.
Periwinkle gasps when she sees the train. “Oh my cat, Stinky, are we going to ride the rails like hobos?”
“Maybe not like hobos, but definitely like two tabbies on an adventure,” Stinky tells her as he grabs her paw and helps her up the ladder.
“Hold on tight, Periwinkle. I don’t want you flying off into the woods.”
“I promise,” Periwinkle replies and adds, “I love the feel of the wind in my furs, Stinky. This might be the best fun I have ever had!” Stinky beams with delight at Periwinkle’s declaration.
The tabbies admire the scenery as the train heads toward their destination. Talking isn’t possible as the noise from the wheels on the rails is much too loud.
Much too quickly for Periwinkle and Stinky, the train arrives at their pick-up point where Dad Tom will meet them.
As they wait for Dad Tom, Periwinkle and Stinky share some treats, and Periwinkle asks Stinky if he knows anything about where they are. He tells her a little about what he read before today’s trip.
“From 1900 to 1920, Thurmond was among the greatest railroad towns along the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway. Coal brought from area mines gave the town the largest revenue on the railway line. Banks were the richest in West Virginia. Fifteen passenger trains passed through town each day. The depot served as many as 95,000 passengers per year. Stores and saloons were always busy, and the hotels and boarding houses were bursting with patrons.
“Unfortunately, with the arrival of diesel locomotives and less coal coming from local mines, the town began to steadily decline. The Thurmond Depot has been restored and serves as a visitor center. It’s exhibits and historic furnishings recreate the days when the railroad and coal were major themes in America’s history.”
“Are we going to visit the depot?”
“Not today, Periwinkle. But let’s plan to do that on a future adventure.”
As Stinky is telling Periwinkle about Thurmond, Dad Tom arrives to take them to their destination: Dunloup Creek where they will visit the falls, which drop from a 20-foot high sandstone ledge into the New River Gorge. Dad Tom will be taking photos while the tabbies explore the surroundings.
“Wow, Stinky, this is so beautiful. I love waterfalls, and it has been a really long time since we visited any. But would you please be careful and not climb any further out on that limb.”
“Periwinkle, it is perfectly safe and sturdy, and there is room for two,” Stinky tells her.
Periwinkle hesitates, but finally climbs out to join him.
The tabbies sit for a long time just enjoying the falls and each other’s company. After Stinky’s misadventure, they are happy to be together again for their weekly visits. Finally, Periwinkle asks Stinky if they will be doing anything else while Dad Tom is taking photos. As a reply, Stinky leads her down from the tree and closer to the creek. He then opens his backpack and takes out and unfolds their fishing poles.
“I have no idea if this creek has any fish, but I know how much fun we had fishing with Cooper Murphy and Tyebe, so I decided to bring our poles with me,” Stinky tells her.
“Stinky, this was a great idea. Fishing is so relaxing. It doesn’t matter if we catch anything.”
When their arms get tired of holding their poles, Stinky and Periwinkle share a snack and then a nap in the sun until Dad Tom retrieves them for the trip home.
Both kitties immediately fall asleep in the car and nap the entire way back to Stinky’s home.
Upon arrival, Dad Tom shows Periwinkle, Stinky, Stinky’s fursibs and Mom Janet the photos he has taken, including the ones of Periwinkle and Stinky, He then makes copies for Periwinkle to take home to show brofur Raz and Mom Sharon.
Finally it is time for Periwinkle to head home. She and Stinky share oodles of whisker kisses and paw hugs and tell each other, “I love you!” Periwinkle steps into her tunnel and is gone in a whoosh. Stinky goes through the cat door to the catio to nap and dream of Periwinkle and all the fun they had on today’s adventure.
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