Shown above are the front and back (cropped) of the Pennsylvania Railroad envelope that held my great-grandmother Greta's 1962 "Pennsyliner" train ticket from Paoli, Pennsylvania, to San Francisco, California.
The trip went like this:
- Paoli to Chicago, via Pennsylvania Railroad (departing March 12, 1962)
- Chicago to Denver, via Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad (departing March 13, 1962)1
- Denver to Salt Lake City, via Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad
- Salt Lake City to San Francisco, via Western Pacific Railroad
The ticket does not indicate what date she arrived in San Francisco. We do know that the total cost of the cross-country train trip, tax included, was $153.87. That would be the equivalent of about $1,218 today.
This was the very beginning of Greta's around-the-world trip in 1962. She didn't want to fly and thus wanted to do the entire trip by trains, boats and cars with hired drivers. She needed to get to the West Coast so that she could board a boat to take her across the Pacific Ocean.
However, upon arriving, she discovered that there was a stevedore (dockworker) strike in San Francisco, and no boats were going anywhere. She called my great-grandfather and asked him what she should do. He told her to either turn around and take the train home or catch a flight to Hawaii (and then Japan).
She chose to fly and continue her round-the-world trip. Turns out, she loved air travel. Which helps when you want to circle the world.
1. Meanwhile, on that same date, the U.S. government was mulling Operation Northwoods, a proposed false-flag operation to commit acts of terrorism against America and blame Cuba, thus "justifying" a war.