Train Travel as an Indoor Sport

by Theresa Scott

Earlier this week I had the chance to travel by train. We passed some of the loveliest bays where the tide was out and the mudflats stretched on for at least a mile. We passed acres and acres of tall green trees—some close to the tracks, some in the distance. I found viewing islands and water and forested land relaxed me and slowed my pace for the day. In a nice way.

And what a chance to see birds! Long-legged herons dotted the beaches, their gray feathers blending in with the gray and taupe sand. Bald eagles were a rarer sight. I saw one on this trip, and he was soaring lazily along an air current. Crows and hawks hang out on the beaches too, looking for snacks and chatting with kin.

There were not many people on the long stretches between cities. For mile after mile, we passed beaches and saw only one or two people at a time. Of the folks we did pass, it seems that trains going by are an invitation to give a friendly wave.

It struck me that the train is actually a small community of core workers who are responsible for serving a larger, mobile community of passengers who whirl through the train orbit and then spin off to other universes (train stations) to do whatever it is they must do, and who may never return. If you work on a train, it must be like having a ton of unfinished stories told to you every day as the train roars past the trees and water and towns.

As a passenger, I found it to be a relaxing experience. If you find yourself looking for an out-of-the-ordinary experience this summer, or if you are pondering a day-trip or a short trip somewhere, you may enjoy taking a train to your destination. If the scenery doesn’t entice you, perhaps chatting with the other passengers will entertain you. Or, you can always look at the birds.

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6 responses to “Train Travel as an Indoor Sport

  1. I absolutely love taking the train. I find it a much more relaxing and enjoyable way to travel and if I could take a train everywhere I have to fly to (and get there in a reasonable timeframe), I’d never go on a plane again.

  2. I feel like I’ve had a mini-vacay just reading your blog, Theresa. It sounds like you relaxed on your travels, something not easy to do. Trains have a special place in my heart. When my daughter was young (so many years ago) we used to ride the train up from Portland to see her Gramma. We’d sit in the dining car and play games (both inside and looking outside). She doesn’t remember these trips as she was two or three at the time, but I do…with much fondness. Thank you for reminding me.

  3. Your blog brought back the memory of a trip we took from Centralia Washington to Ogden Utah. It was relaxing, time to read, and like you say watch the scenery. We talked to one couple that were touring the country by train. You could purchase a pass that would allow you to get off for days and then get back on.

  4. Enjoy reading your post. I love trains. We take the train from London down to the French Riviera using the Channel Tunnel and it’s so much better than flying. The scenery is so beautiful, especially on reaching Marseilles when the train travels along the stunning coastline.

  5. I’m a big fan of train travel. I don’t get to do it much here in the States but adore it when I head over to Europe. We don’t have the awesome rail system like theirs.

  6. Me too, I love letting the train take the strain. So much more relaxing but sadly don’t do it often as invariably drive or fly. I’ve always wanted to do the Canadian Pacific train run. That’s another for my wish list.

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