There is so much to share, I'm certain I can't cover it in one post alone. So here is part one of two, or maybe three posts on my experience at the Relevant Conference.
My journey there was a first for me. I had never been on a train before and was excited, yet nervous to embark on that adventure. I began my travels very early in the morning (around 1am). At 6am I arrived in Pittsburgh to change trains to get to Harrisburg. This was the part I was excited about, as I would see the breath-taking scenery throughout the trip.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck just 10 minutes out of the Pittsburgh train station. A 19 year old male was walking, with his back turned and headphones on, down the railroad tracks. The conductor intensely and consistently blew the whistle so much so that the surrounding neighbors and nearby policeman knew something was wrong. Within seconds the train came to a hard, jolted stop.
I knew something wasn't right, but didn't know what yet.
One of the crew members said we would be parked there for a while because the train had hit something and they had to check the train.
Time went by (30 mins? maybe). Another member of the train crew came and said, "Yes, there was an accident. We did hit a pedestrian and there was a fatality." This poor woman was so distraught, and understandably so. (You see her in the above news video that's linked to "tragedy struck).
We, the passengers, sat on the train for 2 1/2 hours while we watched detectives, investigators, photographers, news people, and train crew walk up and down the tracks. Wearing rubber gloves. Carrying clipboards. Camera in hand.
People lined the streets. We sat in disbelief. The first time this has happened in this area in 20 years -- and it happens to be my first train ride.
Read what happened after Relevant here.