The reason I have not written for a while is because I embarked on a journey across the US by train; from Northern California to New York City.
It takes Amtrak almost 4 full days with several stops in between and a train change in Chicago to make the trek from the west to the east coast.
I boarded the California Zephyr on a sunny Monday morning, and in a couple of hours the Zephyr climbed up to 9,000 feet through the Sierras, with breathtaking views around every turn. Through the Summit tunnel we slowly descended into Nevada’s desert, which turned quite spectacular at sunset.
The Rockies and the Colorado River dished up more visual splendor, and by then slightly overstimulated I was almost relieved when night fell across Utah.
Now I should mention, that I have flown over these majestic mountains, roaring rivers and bustling towns, but never have I taken a train across the US, which is an altogether different experience, and one that I highly recommend.
Iowa greeted me Wednesday morning with a down to earth charm. Almost as captivating as the past day and a half, but in a more subtle way.
Aside from the iMax view of the scenery, that I had been treated to, the human connections somewhat uncommon in this era of texting and Facebooking were also incredible.
Sweet, kind, unsolicited gestures and exchanges big and small, left a lasting impression. It is amazing how a train ride can strip away boundaries, bring strangers together and take you to a slower place in time, dare I say more civilized?
Arriving at Penn Station with two huge suitcases in tow, I found myself embracing my daughter with tears in my eyes…