Pennsylvania to Colorado by Train — So Sweet

On Monday I hop on Amtrak in Harrisburg, PA and head to Denver, CO for the Creating Change Conference. I love so many things about taking the train. For one I get so much work done. Monday and Tuesday I will write letters, work on the screenplay for the upcoming Transfigurations film (more about that in a future post), and REHEARSE my newest play, Does This Apocalypse Make Me Look Fat? A Comedy about broken bodies, large and small. I will perform this play on Saturday night at the conference.

Sure a full train uses less fossil fuel than the four plane flights I would have needed to get to Denver and back. But I travel on the ground for multiple reasons, not just because I don’t want to pollute so much. The pace of the train, the opportunity for solitude or society, the views–both majestic and mundane, make for a lovely trip. So much nicer

Poeina Suddarth

Poeina Suddarth

than rushing through airport security then squeezing in a sit for a few hours of dehydrating pressurized air. I know train travel is not perfect. There are long delays at times, especially now with so much crude oil transported by rail. Still train travel works for me (especially when I have a sleeper car for overnight legs.

The other plus is that I will have dinner in Pittsburgh with friend on Monday night, and brunch with another friend in Chicago on Tuesday morning. These are folks I typically would just fly over.

AND I bring my little audio recorder and capture some great sounds and conduct interviews. This fall I interviewed:

  • Singer/songwriter Poeina Suddarth and even sat in on a rolling live concert. You can listen here.
  • Chino Young, a wild fire fighter from the Quinault people on the West Coast. He told me how his village is getting relocated because of sea level rise and how so many of the animals of his youth also getting displaced because of climate change. You can listen here.

Have you ever gone on a long distance train ride? How was it? What did you do during the trip? Any travel pointers?




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