My friend and I drove out to Santa Fe, New Mexico last week for the International Folk Art Market. It's a good 12 hour drive from Los Angeles through stunning landscapes of the California high desert, Northern Arizona, and New Mexico. I wasn't able to stay in Santa Fe long so I took the train home on Monday.
I am a big fan of taking the train. Anywhere. About 10 years ago I took the train from New York to Los Angeles, an adventure that took 5 days, and that's when I really fell in love. I like to think of myself as an Amtrak ambassador because I am constantly singing the praises of train travel to anyone who will listen and encouraging people to take the train and ditch their cars when they can. Sure, the train brings with it some inconveniences (namely the 11 hour delay I experienced on Monday) but it also comes with so many bonuses that it's very much worth it.
Sadly, the famed route of the Southwest Chief from Chicago to Los Angeles is under threat of being rerouted to other states where new tracks that can handle faster and more modern trains. Sigh. What a shame it would be to lose this picturesque route.
In addition to having views of great landscapes, train travel is so good for people meeting and watching! The train brings together a diverse cross-section of people and I was lucky enough to sit next to a ceramicist from Taiwan who had been at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe. Needless to say, though I will say it again, the train is great for knitting. Over the 18 hour stretch I got so much done! I also took loads of blurry photos from the train with a few good ones in between. See them on my Instagram feed.