As is always the case, towns and cities fall or expand based on their proximity to water or a railway system. Nowhere was it more apparent than when we took a roadtrip to the Pacific Northwest this month. All along the route we followed the train tracks. As we passed through towns big and small (or in some instances, no towns at all for major stretches) we read about them on Wikipedia, learning about the history, the population, and the impact the northern Pacific railway had on them. Even today the stretch of the rails and the trains is so obvious. You can't help but see them passing by over bridges, through the mountains, along side the interstate and the rivers. We happen to know someone who is intimately involved in the railroad system, and stops to hear the whistle blow whenever it is in proximity. There is something about trains that entertains the youngsters to this day. Every time we stopped for a train to pass by, we always waved at the conductor and waited for the caboose. It is still amazing to imagine how these huge iron horse tracks were built way back in the day. In many ways they haven't changed a whole lot over the years. But you can't help but notice them all along this splendid ride.