It’s been a season of convergences lately. I just paid my taxes, along with, it seems, every bill known to man, so I’m a little broke but feeling light for the moment. April 1 was the fourth anniversary of my mom’s first brain surgery, and this past Friday she finished up her three weeks of radiation. Work is heating up, Passover is coming and I’m taking my shot at running away for a while. It’s been nearly two years since I had a real vacation, something more than weekends home with my parents or a slightly longer weekend with friends in other cities. I’m taking ten days on the Southwest Chief, an Amtrak route from Chicago to Los Angeles, with stops along the way. I’m bringing my camera, my notebooks and possibly my ukulele. I’m going to see friends I’ve known for years but never met in person. I could not be more relieved and happy.
The last time I did this, it was only one way. I was coming home to Ohio after the most miserable summer of my life, and since I was in San Francisco, I thought I’d make the distance worth my while. Taking the California Zephyr in August 2006 was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I never quite managed to share the pictures from that trip; frankly, I made a stop in Rocky Mountain National Park with my brother and wound up with about 200 shots of mountains and pine trees and roadside elk. It seemed a lot to sort through, but it also felt private, in a way. I liked having that trip to myself. I’m in a much different place in my life now, thankfully, and I expect to share a lot this coming journey on a number of different outlets. For now, though, here are a few images from my last time around. Watch this space for some other things, interesting things, soon.