RIDING THE RAILS

Currently passing through Richmond, Virginia, and it’s taking all of my strength not to hop off 79 Carolinian prematurely to ride the rails.

I’m leaving behind the rich political landscape of Washington D.C.—not to mention, the best milkshake I’ve ever laid my hungover eyes on—for miles and miles of countryside enduring the growing pains of Spring.

As I gaze out my window, I’m reminded that a grass football field with no encircling track is actually a rare sight to see. Dilapidated wooden shacks that would scare the crap out of me after nightfall appear like charming fixer-uppers basking in the day’s sunlight. Small brooks, green tractors, American flags, and too many ‘field of dreams’ to count…and although I know they’re real, the people and the animals out there bare a striking resemblance to the plastic figures in my dad’s model period railroad dioramas.

ridingrails

Would it not be the most opportune time in my life to go exploring? To go from train to train (legally) and from town to town (in my New Balance sneakers) just to walk down Main Street and taste the local diner’s scrambled eggs with bacon? With no major commitments back home in Southern California or on the road, I can’t help but wonder what that spontaneity could lead to. The only thing weighing me down, physically and mentally, is my black roller suitcase. Okay, and if I’m being totally honest with myself, I rather like the momentum that I have going for myself right now. I don’t want to jeopardize that on a whim. Plus, there’s a particular mom and a dad duo waiting for me when I step off the platform in Durham, North Carolina. That is surely a reason to stay in my seat, skip to the next song on my Spotify playlist, and simply enjoy the rhythm of the tracks underneath.