Watching the world go by

All aboard!

Home sweet home
I’m on the train.  I’m a little giddy with it all.  This seems to be my natural habitat.  A small confined space, lots of gorgeous views, and no hurry.  Everyone seems so happy, bordering on smug that they chose the train.

I came laden with activities and plans.  I’m going to write a lot, and draw for at least an hour a day with the 16 colored pencils that I carefully chose -- mostly the normal colors, with one special gold pencil.  And I'll research things that I don’t usually have time for.  A few land stalker things, like what’s the history of that particular property, and what year was it logged, and so on.  And weird things that I’ve been curious about, but haven’t taken the time to read up on, like the Wim Hof method.  (Right?  I mean, tell me reading up on that guy hasn’t been on your to do list for a while.). And making a tiny booklet with graphics showing the mandatory technical criteria for hydric soils.  Oh, and knitting a whole sweater, and maybe even the back up project I brought, because you don’t want to be stuck without knitting.  And I’m going to get off the train at every chance, with the anxious smokers, to look around.  And get my 10,000 steps and 10 glasses of water and maybe quit coffee and read a few books and write a few letters.

But it turns out that I could look out the window all day.  I don’t want to knit, or draw, or miss a single inch of this beautiful land.  Maybe that’s because so far I’ve been in the west.  I’m just leaving Glacier National Park, with snow on the ground, brilliant yellow larch trees against a backdrop of forest green conifers, and wild rivers.  Soon, the land will flatten out, trees will become scarce.  But even the stark, treeless landscape is captivating.  I’ve realized this is what I crave – being alone with my curiosity, activities, and a beautiful backdrop rolling by.


  1. You're totally right about the endless stark landscapes through Montana etc.--I found them fascinating on my cross-country rail trips. Once I saw a pronghorn running. Once I saw a huge hawk flying away with a snake wriggling in its talons...I wondered if I were supposed to stop and found a city there :)

    1. Whoa! The snake lead you to a secret city? That's kind of biblical I think.

  2. That last picture is so amazing that it really ought to be used for a movie. Maybe a post-apocalyptic scene in a movie, but still, a movie.

  3. So excellent. Enjoy every second!

  4. I love travelling by train so much. I have serious train-travel envy right now :) Enjoy, ENJOY, Bets!

  5. As long as you have a view you might as well view it! You're going to make me look up Wim Hof, aren't you?

  6. I used to take the train as a kid and also when I go to Europe. It has always been a nice way to travel.

  7. Thank you for voicing my own feelings while taking a train west to east cross country trip last year. I loved every minute of it! and I didn't even have to miss my daily walk.

  8. Wow,
    Betsy, you're such a good writer and very funny too. By the way, I do love my cat--even more than a chocolate eclaire.


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