It was past noon before my first guests arrived today, a couple from Germany. I wonder if the tourist season is finally beginning to wind down. One nice thing about being at Afton Station on a slow day like this is the silence. I'm isloated from what's happening in the world. When I'm at home, the TV is usually tuned to MSNBC or CNN with news droning in the background no matter what I'm doing. In the car, it's NPR or (I'm ashamed to admit it) Howard Stern. I don't really like to listen to most music, so it's always talk, talk, talk for me. But here at Afton Station I'm alone and it's quiet. Sometimes I'll put on a CD of Route 66 music if I have a group coming, but otherwise I relish the silence. The acoustics here are good too, so before a month of tubes down my throat permanently knocked out the singing part of my voice, I could be found unabashedly crooning "Get Your Kicks on Route 66", full volume. Now, it's just the silence, the hum of the air conditioner in the summer, the hourly piercing wail of a passing train whistle, and the tinkle of the bell on the door when I'm about to receive visitors. I appreciate it very much.
After they left, I caught the young Germans taking photos of each other in front of the newly completed gas pumps. I went out and told them they were the first.