I’ve been on the train for the past two days (with a few hours stop off in Chicago to go to the gym, shower, have some wine… thanks Christy Tyler). And I think what I want to talk about most is sleeping on the train. First. That is my for real double bed in a moving train. It’s among the best things to happen to me. When Maddie joins me from DC to Atlanta, we’ll fold down the bunk bed, and I’m pretty sure she’s mandated to let me climb around in it because I’m her boss? I might be confused on that point, but I’m pretty darn excited about the bunk bed.
The thing is, sleeping on the Amtrak is the weirdest and coolest thing all at once. At first, I had a hard time falling asleep because the train was clearly hurrying very fast, and my type-A personality thought, “The train is moving very fast! I should get up and help! Hurry, hurry, hurry.” So somewhere outside of Denver, I got out of bed and pulled the curtain and realized A) I was not in charge, B) We were right on the ground, and C) I was in Big Sky country. I gazed at the sky awash in stars, and the western homesteads rushing by, and then curled up in my double bed and dozed off.
Because the funny thing is, we talk about Amtrak as slow travel. But it doesn’t feel particularly slow when you’re on it because life continues inside at a normal pace: you have meals, you have work days, you sleep. And then, somehow, you go to bed in Denver, and wake up in the snowy white fields of Iowa… as if by magic. Or you go to sleep in Chicago, and wake up on a river in New York.
And right now, the train wheels are saying hurry, hurry, hurry. Lunch is waiting in the dining car, and Boston is waiting right around the bend.
Pictures from Instagram, where I’m documenting the trip. Follow me on Twitter for more. I’ll do a proper photo round up at some point, never fear.