Long train to Dallas

2/14/22

Sorry for the delay in blog posts. I was on the train for about a day and a half, and I couldn’t post from there. Then last night I was getting acquainted with my Dallas host, a charming Warmshowers fellow who works as a bike mechanic.

The train ride was long and relaxing. You can see that the landscape was pretty uniform for most of the way. As usual, I enjoyed going to the sightseer lounge car and sipping my “signature Amtrak cocktail” of sweet tea and vodka. I’m glad I made a point to do this on the first afternoon of the trip, because I had forgotten that in San Antonio, at about 6:00 the following morning, the train would be split in half, with the dining car continuing to Chicago (my segment) and the lounge car continuing to New Orleans. So when I awoke and made my way to the dining car for breakfast, I discovered that the lounge car was no more.

We arrived in Dallas in the afternoon, to warm sunshine, although I immediately felt the difference from California and Arizona: this place is filled with deciduous trees! And they are bare. The warm sun felt like an odd contrast to the winter appearance of the trees, and I was taken back to my childhood in Virginia, as well as to a train trip from 2018 when I visited Chicago in a late-winter April. Living in Portland for the past 30 years, with all its gray skies and evergreens, I have become thoroughly unaccustomed to bare trees and brown grass with sunshine.

I cycled through the downtown Deep Ellum district, filled with funky bars and restaurants. There are two vegan restaurants there, which I may sample while I’m here, but they don’t offer outdoor seating, so I might end up getting food to go.

Then I met up with the Santa Fe Trail, a car-free bike path which took me most of the way to my host’s apartment next to a high school and neighborhood park.

Today we are going to experience the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, which contains a renowned Japanese garden. I’m excited!

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