By Nanci Dixon
I had to chuckle one night as we settled into bed. I heard the melancholy whistle of a train passing by and instantly knew we were at an RV park. I was chuckling because I have the ability to turn my hearing aids off; however, my husband is not so lucky. He can still hear the plaintive call of a train going by all night long.
I have noticed that as we RV across America a disproportional number of RV parks seem to be on top of neighboring train tracks. When I searched online for “campgrounds and train noise” hundreds of pages of comments and reviews came up about train noise! One commenter in an online RV forum said, “It’s just a natural attraction our RV parks have to have railroads.”
One set of train tracks was so close to our RV at one park, that as the trains went by, the entire motorhome shook! I should have known when we pulled in there would be a train nearby … they gave us earplugs at check-in.
I understand that building an RV park is expensive, and buying a less-than-desirable piece of property will cut costs, but I also understand that a lot of RVers would prefer to be a short distance from the highway if only bedding down for a night. And with highways come cars, trucks and trains. Yup, cheap and proximity seem to go hand-in-hand.
We recently stopped for seven nights on our way from the Midwest to the Southwest. Six, yes SIX, of those nights we could hear trains. Six nights in bed I chuckled as my husband groaned.
Sure, I could use Google Earth and check the park location for tracks and highways. Sure, I could read reviews more thoroughly. But, personally, I think the sound is hauntingly beautiful. It echos of bygone days – of a time we think of as simpler, kinder. It probably wasn’t any simpler or any kinder, but nostalgia kicks in and I like to think so. Besides, I can chuckle, take out my hearing aids and not hear a thing.