Train Ride

Took the New Mexico Rail Runner today to the 7000 BC meeting in Albuquerque. Since we didn't want to leave the dog (see, she now manages to creep into all the posts) alone too long, it meant that we took the 1:20 out of Santa Fe, got into Albuquerque at 2:49, and then turned around to get the 4:30 home. So the day was more about the train ride than the actual meeting, as we'd be spending about three times as much time in transit as at our destination. Jamie joined us on the trip.

Train's free for the first three months for Santa Fe residents (as is the case with any new stop that's opened), so that took some of the sting out of it. But mostly, it was getting into the mindset that the day was about just riding the train, visiting with a friend.

We were among the crowds, in a good spot, when boarding began at 1:00. Managed to get space on the upper level, two pairs of chairs facing each other, one of which we gave to a woman, recently moved to Santa Fe, at the next stop, because it filled up pretty quickly. Departure from the Depot on time, a surprisingly fast trip through town, then out to the edge of the mesa, and down to Albuquerque.

We talked some comics and "business," but most of our discussion today was about traveling by train. Observing and commenting on the landscape — built and natural — that passed by through areas we wouldn't ordinarily see, at least not from the height we did in the location we did. Residential areas, less desirable because of the rail right-of-way. An extended copse of cottonwood trees that looked like an orchard. Neglected industrial districts, active once (and now maybe again) because of the proximity of the train. The river and acequias, set back from the major thoroughfares. Watching as today's snow in Santa Fe gave faded away to shrubbery, unusually green from earlier snowfall at lower altitudes

The trip passed quickly, the meeting in Albuquerque even more so. The trip back was far less crowded. And though there was shop talk, conversation always seemed to come back to our mode of transportation. It was sunset, and we watched as the sky darkened and the full moon came out. Before we knew it, we were back home.

(Click for larger; that's moonrise on the right.)

Undeniably, there was a lot of novelty that made it more appealing, as did the price. Tough to deny, though, that there is a different quality about making the trip in a train, even if it did take probably a half-hour longer than the drive. Definitely more conversation, more relaxed, more conscious of — and appreciative of — the journey.

1 comment:

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