In October 2015, my friend Elizabeth and I went on a cross-country writing train trip from Montreal to Los Angeles in five days. Here are some stories, insights and musings that came from that adventure.

 

So tired….

 

I soaked in the early morning rumble on the train on our last hours on the rails. I eased my way to the observation car looking for the sunrise in California, listening to Coheed and Cambria, “There to Mars.”

How to describe this journey…. It was more magical then I even imagined. More fun. More intense. More inspiring. More…. More…. More….

As my traveling partner said, “This has been a crazy, wonderful, intense, inspiring adventure.”

On the train, writing and storytelling was more concentrated and wonderful, your senses more alive. The book I read was even more nourishing.

We rolled into LA’s city limits. There was nothing pretty about this actually. Gritty and grimy. The decidedly not glamorous parts of LA. Such a contrast to the rest of the country, but it had it own dirty beauty. I felt happy. I was nearly home. I stepped off the train and sadly, I felt most of the magic stay behind on the metal steps of the train car. I felt exhaustion take over. But I didn’t want it to be over yet. We sat in the beautiful Union station and rested a moment. Took it all in.

In five days I went through two counties, twelve states, met twenty strangers, finished one novel revision, read one book and spent approximately five hours belly laughing and countless hours dreaming. The train gave me the space the write. What a gift. But it was so much more. It was the space to expand and take people in and value friendship and now I’m dissolving into tears. It’s a bubble that does burst. But the memory fuels me. And this will not be my last train ride. This is just the beginning.

 

My favorite picture from the trip. Elizabeth and I. Travel weary. So tired. But oh so happy.

 

To see the “other” Elizabeth’s posts about our trip visit her website.