Cross-Country: Day 3

Today is the third of my four-day railway trip across the United States. I woke up on the train today to see Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. This portion of the trip was taken on the Southwest Chief train.

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I woke up this morning at 6am feeling well rested, but I was surprised to find the sun was nowhere to be found. I nodded off and then woke up again to find it was 6am! The sun was rising. It was a beautiful sunrise in Kansas. We soon made our way into Colorado. Sleeping was much easier on the tracks this time. The train had a nice, gentle rock to it.

I cleaned up a bit and made my way to the back of the train to see what it looked like, then moved on to spend the majority of morning in the observation car. I met this guy my age and we chatted for several hours about RC airplanes and his life in Albuquerque. The flat farmland slowly transformed into the southwest; complete with all of the mountains, desert, and desert weeds. The observation car was really neat! Being able to see so much landscape from the train made the trip much more bearable. It was strange to see strangers just having conversation with each other instead of just running off. Isn’t it sad that people being decent weirds me out?

We made our way into New Mexico, where the train spent most of the day traveling. It was a really pretty state and the desert and all of the mountains were as pretty as I imagined. I got several glimpses of the Rocky mountains too. The train made its way into Albuquerque where I spent 15 minutes walking around, my first time off the train since Iowa! The sun soon set in a fantastic array of colors over the seemingly eternal desert.

I had my second dinner with a great group of strangers, all accomplished in their own right. It was nice meeting some accomplished individuals in different walks of life! One was a vice-chancellor from a school in Wisconsin and the other was a dancer headed off to a camp. They were very friendly.

This was the first full day on the train and the last too! It’s still fun, but getting disorienting as far as directions and time go. I’m getting pretty sleepy and still have no idea what the local time really is. I’ll be getting into California early tomorrow. Excited!