Off ‘trak

I’m still moving. Being on Amtrak for nearly four days has set up a current in my cerebrospinal fluid that has me lurching westward even when I’m sitting still. I suppose I’ll get over it eventually. Meanwhile I’m dosing myself with simple molecules like CH3(CH2)OH. There are some perks to train rides: Moonrise in NM That’s a moonrise over the New Mexico badlands from the window in our compartment. Not bad for a quickie snap, eh? And we got a look at the Southern Rockies a little earlier: Southern Rockies Yeah, I know, it’s far away. Hey, we were on a train. Did I explain that already? Most of the goddamn country is flatlands. Seriously. Iowa? Kansas? Illinois? Fucking flat. We Californians have no idea how flat the rest of the nation is. The train to LA was late so we got to go through the southern desert in the morning twilight instead of at night. Cajon Pass from the Victor Valley to San Bernandino was goddamn amazing! I was too excited to take pictures. Get your own lazy asses down there and check it out. I can’t do everything for you, fer chrissakes. Anyway, it was awesome. The Joshua Trees and yuccas to the east, the fault scarps and exposed cliff faces near the summit, the broad vistas of the San Gabriels as we descended west, it was just beautiful in that sparse, haunting way that only a brutally arid landscape can be. Speaking of brutal, the train tracks don’t discriminate. They take you alongside both the hardscrabble hillbilly shanties and the gleaming boulevards of manicured lawns in front of multi-million dollar developments. The trash strewn barrios and the neat suburban cul-de-sacs. The strip malls and the freight yards. The shiny, freshly-minted school sports complexes and the battered, abandoned warehouses of once-thriving commercial centers. If you want to see the great bifurcation of American society between those that have and are getting more versus those that don’t and are watching it slip away, get out of your cars and off your airplanes and ride the ‘trak. p.s. If anyone can tell me how to do subscripts in WordPress I’d love ya forever.

One thought on “Off ‘trak

  1. We’ve noticed the same things about non-discriminating train tracks in France, as well. We were watching the mice run up and down the tracks yesterday in the Montpellier station, taking care of their smorgasbord of trash. No one seemed to care…no one seemed to even notice. By the way, how much scotch do they serve on that train…you seem to be getting a mite feisty. Howard and Dianne

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