I went for a 15 minute run today and it was one of the hardest runs that I've done in a good long while. I see you, thinking "15 minutes, that's nothing". and not even a week ago, I would have agreed. That was before I gained all of this train fat from sitting on the train for just over three days in a row. That's over 72 hours of straight sitting people. My body is not used to moving anymore. Fortunately, I'll be hitting up a "Poor Man's Yoga" class this evening as well. So, hopefully we can get things back into working order.
This train ride was a strange'un. In some ways I expect a cross country train to be filled with antiquity loving, beautiful hipsters, all wearing retro shoes and sunglasses. Besides followers of the scene, I expected patient, elderly travelers who drink their fill of overpriced wine in their sleeper cars and romance one another like they've just fallen in love. Suffice to say, my expectations were not met.
This cross country train was all business. At least on the first leg of my journey, most of the people that I encountered were either coming or going to Wilson, ND. There were men going there with guaranteed jobs working where the oil is being drilled. There were people rushing there in hopes of getting jobs pertaining to the oil boom and there was at least one person who was commuting to Wilson to work as a waitress. Word on the tracks is, there's so much money to be had in North Dakota that people can afford to buy cars after working for only a few months. People are getting jobs as drivers, station builders, and pipe layers. even gas station workers are supposedly getting about $18.oo an hour in Wilson.
It's a strange thing to become an accidental part of a migrating flock. I felt like we were doing something that Americans have been doing forever. In the past we were going to pan gold, or to pick fruit. Instead, of heading west, Now we were heading to the center to drill oil. Luckily, the first leg of the train wasn't overly crowded so it wasn't hard to come by sleep and a good stretch during this bit of migration.
The second leg, from Chicago. was far more crowded and less migratory. By that leg, I was over trains and ready to get home and take a shower. Now, if you read my last post, you know that I am home with Mamaw and my older sister, clean showered and ready to do some yoga.
Here are a few pictures from the journey.
We actually did get to leave the train sometimes. Here on layover in Chicago
Blue skies and sunshine are a magical thing coming from Portland in the winter
A bit of fencing at the Milwaukee station.
In the flat brown stretch. There was a lot of this.
Every once and a while the flat lands gave us some busted dumpsters, buildings, and cars.
Snow in a way that we never see it in Portland.