Trains evoke every imaginable emotion for me. I’ve teared up at the departure of friends leaving on a train. I’ve yelled in excitement as a child when a train blasted its horn as we drove alongside it. I’ve sat at a train crossing irritated at the incredible length of a freight train and I’ve wondered at all of the objects and substances and commodities that must be housed in a long line of containers. I’ve toured retired Pullman cars at railroad museums and I even once looked inside a privately-owned train car which was used by a family for elegant travel. I’ve had a fascination with cabooses for as long as I can recall, and I would still install one in my backyard as an office if one was offered to me. I like trains. I like their sounds and all the thoughts that they bring to a mind.
But I’ve never been on a train trip.
Sure, I’ve taken the odd subway ride. But, I’ve never boarded a train bound for a distant locale. And, I always kind of regretted that and had it tucked away on a “someday” list.
Enter my friend, Sean, who is a dear friend of my husband’s and has over the years become one of my closest friends, as well. He, as my family does, often travels to the area around San Francisco. A few years ago he said, “You should take the Zephyr from Denver to San Francisco one of these times.” And that echoed in my head for several summers, bouncing around romantically, but not really sticking….