The past few months have been filled with changes. I completed that thesis that had been swallowing all my time this winter and spring and I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Religion. I said goodbye to the school I had attended, that had in many ways become my family, as it closed its doors after nearly 200 years of existence. I packed up my life, after five years on the East Coast, and moved back to the West Coast to be closer to my family as I work towards further education on my career path.
Now, settling into my new home (and undertaking the fun process that is job-hunting), I am beginning to have a little time to start revisiting my blog – and trying to update it some more!
First up – the move. I had promised a great many people that I would share pictures from my trip, so this seemed like a good medium to do that in!
As a gift to myself I took the train to get myself across the country – a much-needed vacation! Technically, I took three trains – enjoying three of Amtrak’s routes on my way from Maine to Oregon.
First up – The Lake Shore Limited. This is the train that I took from Boston to Chicago – sitting up in coach overnight (which is something I don’t think I can do again – didn’t really get much sleep). However, I did get a chance to see some pretty country-side (which is really what this trip was all about). One of the first things that I learned was how tricky it was to take pictures from the train.
Thank goodness for digital cameras and LOTS of batteries!
For the most part it was a decompression time for me – one of the first times in a very long time that I’ve had the chance to just sit and be, with no demands on me, no deadlines to meet, nothing to worry about except what I was going to order for my meals. The landscape of the east is lovely – with lots of trees, lakes and pastoral scenes – it was a perfect landscape to watch as I lost myself in thoughts. Lots of thoughts that I am still sorting out.
It was the smallest train that I would be on – and the dinning car was fairly different from what I would experience for the rest of the journey.
There happened to be a couple on the train that attended the church I used to work at, so it was fun
to join them for a few meals – and meant I was able to get a picture of myself! During our stop in Albany (where we had an extended stop while half the train – coming in from New York City – joined us) they had taken a walk and picked some flowers – so we had fresh flowers on our table during dinner. We also got to enjoy an amazing sunset during the meal – I wish I had gotten more good pictures of it, but we were moving, the angle was odd, and it was hard to
not get reflection in the window.
The night was not at all restful –
including a family with young children that had taken over the front of the car, and people getting on and off at all hours of the morning – getting woken up when we stopped, and facing the possibility of being asked to move to another seat when couples got on-board. I found myself spending much of the night wishing, desperately, that I had spent the extra funds on a sleeper. But, alas, it was not so.
There was a hidden lining in the fact that I could not sleep. When dawn rolled around I got myself up to go to the dinning car and get some breakfast, and from there I got to watch the most spectacular sunrise (a rare occurrence for me – I’m not usually awake for the sunrise!) We were coming into the plains, farm-country as far as the eye could see, and I was able to capture what I think may be my absolute favorite picture from the entire trip. And that is the picture that I will leave this entry with. Hopefully, next week, I can get the second round of pictures up – from the next leg (or part of the next leg) of the trip.