Deja Vu

Amtrak Residency
Day 9

Haven’t I been here before? Woke up this morning shooting across Utah and worked on LITTLE ROCK for a couple of hours before finally succumbing to the call of hot breakfast and coffee wafting from the dining car. There I met a high school senior named Kira who’s interested in pursuing an acting or singing career, and also Jane, returning home from a yoga retreat.
20150321_084611In Glenwood Springs, CO the Warren-Powell family boarded my train on their way back home to Iowa and I spent a good chunk of the afternoon and part of the evening playing trivia with them and talking ghosts.

At lunchtime I chatted with Mark, a trucker and entrepreneur with a fascinating family history including a father who fought in WW II, Korea and Vietnam. I turned him on to playwright August Wilson and strongly urged him to read The Piano Lesson before hiding in my room to write again for a few hours. 20150321_145446

Later in the day we again passed through the Moffat Tunnel at 9239 feet above sea level, the highest elevation of any Amtrak train. To refresh your memory, it’s a 10-minute ride through a mountain which crosses the Continental Divide. I went through it a few days ago on my way west.  I’m now back on the eastern side of it and hurtling toward home and my wife and son whom I miss dearly.

20150321_183746This will have been my longest single stretch on the train (2 nights, 3 days from San Francisco to Chicago) so when we made an extended stop in Denver early this evening I seized the opportunity to hop off and walk around Union Station for half an hour to keep my muscles from atrophying.

Leaving Denver

At dinner I chanced to share a table with one Jason Walsmith and his two adorable kids. Jason’s in a well-known Iowa folk and rock quintet called The Nadas who’ve played my home bases of Philly, New York City and a slew of other cities across the country. He gave me two of their CDs which I look forward to hearing when I’m back home in a few days. The Warren-Powells, also Iowans, were well aware of The Nadas and impressed that I’d dined with one of the lead singers.

Many thanks to the awesome Amtrak crew for keeping us all moving and fed.


More writing, then snoozing.