The coal was there all right and so was the potash and the grain and the oil but the ‘really big show’ in the canyon was the show put on by the seemingly endless trains of containers. Stack trains. Wal-Mart Trains. Don’t we build anything any more trains. East and west. Day and night. It’s hard to imagine what the builders of this railway would have thought of these trains and the power that moved them. Something magic I expect.
And the curves here, and the grades, obvious even to the eye, never slowed that power down. Every train stretching out to a mile and a half in length banged and clattered by, uphill, at nothing less than 40 mile per hour. Two men, or women, and 30,000 horsepower.
And then there was this amazing silence. Complete silence for a short while and then the birds would be back and your ears would readjust to the breeze and a far off hint of traffic on the highway. I shut down the camera and eased into my acquired chair and fetched the laptop from the grass. WiFi is good here even if there was no TV in the cabins.
A part of the complex 19th century vs 21st century environment here is the very large bear that wandered out of the trees across the tracks and began to slowly work his way in my direction while looking for eats between the rails. He paid me no mind as he was probably quite accustomed to humans around the park but I paid him mind. I left the chair behind, picked up the camera and the computer, got in the car and made my way back to the safety of the pool.
It had just occurred to me that there were no pesky mosquitoes around here.
Of course, not everything is heading east.