At the engineering marvel called the Horseshoe Curve near Altoona, Pennsylvania, two deep valleys were filled and many died while carving a rail passage over the Alleghenies, freeing people from the slow canal boat and hazardous portage climbs and descents and from the rough roads through the forests.
A funicular or inclined-plane cable car now carries tourists to the tracks where trains glide down or huff up 122 feet in half a mile. Up there, the view of vast hills and sky is magnificent. Once a day, the silver east and a westbound Amtraks round the Horseshoe and passengers can see both ends of the train as it rotates 220 degrees.
Meanwhile, the funicular lowers one cable car while the other rises, with the single track becoming two so that the vehicles can complete their journeys. Sometimes, we must also split into different paths, diverging from a course shared by our outer and inner lives. How marvelous when material experiences combine again with the heart and soul, keeping us on our truest track.
Peace and quiet, that’s all we need. Just a special time and place to reconnect again.