I took a trip on a train recently and it was everything that I had hoped it would be and more.
I had always wanted to see the West Coast in a leisurely manner; every nook and cranny. I am sure that it was because I still had vivid memories of the first train trip I ever took from my home town of St. Louis, Missouri, to Washington DC to visit my Aunt Fanny. I took that trip in July not realizing that I would be meeting my future husband, the following month. That’s probably another reason I remember my early trip so well. It brought a major change in my life. But, this trip was after a major change in my life; my husband passed away two and half years ago.
Perhaps this was a way for me to make another journey into the unknown.
But, whatever, it was something that once the idea occurred, I was eager to do. I had great companions, my son, my niece and nephew and another niece. All of us were eager to soak up all the sights along the way. We met the train in Chicago and went south-west through New Mexico and Arizona up to Los Angeles. From there we went north up to Oakland and then east through the Sierra Nevada and Rocky mountains back to Chicago.
My son who had done this trip promised that we would be seeing scenery in a way one could only see from a train; regular roads and automobiles simply did not go into places that a train did.
And he was so right.
First, seeing the endless desert, the endless salt flats, the craggly rocky cliffs rising on either side of us, the Pacific Ocean literally under our “feet.” I loved watching the front part of our train wind around ahead of us as we followed the Colorado River in its zigs and zags. We saw lots of rafters, kayakers, and campers. And we also saw some “mooners.” Do you know what they are? Well, they drop their pants the minute they see the train coming!
But, the landscapes that changed every hour were thrilling. Sometimes we were so close to the cliffs it seemed that we could reach out and touch them and then, suddenly, the vista would open and we could see layers of mountains in the distance. And, the best part was a magnificent rainbow the last day of our trip.
What we got a chance to do was to see our country in all its splendor and I am so glad that I did it. I strongly recommend it for those who have not seen the beauty the makes up our country.