Thoughts from the Coast Starlight

Two hours ago we were still flying down the I-5, 15 miles over the speed limit, my hands clammy at the thought of missing my train ride home. When we finally get to the station, the Coast Starlight superliner is waiting and we run like fury to the coach car. By the time the effects of adrenaline wear off on my heart rate and I’ve let the goodbyes wash over me, I find myself where I am now — surrounded by darkness, burrowing through tunnels in snow-capped mountains. When the train emerges, it will be washed in the orange light of the Oregon sunset reflected off the beds of snow. To my right are two pretty college girls, and also a kind-looking old man in a black cowboy hat; will I be the only one staring intently, committing the spindly trees and still waters to memory?

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