Look at that! A Texas sky and an old railroad with no barriers. Us Texans are brave…
I recently had the good fortune to travel to Brenham in the Texas hill country for work. It is a small country town, German in origin, north west of Houston. The last time I traveled for work was in the UK, to grim industrial towns in England. This trip was much better with perfect spring weather in Texas (hot summer weather in UK).
I used to be terribly frightened of railroad crossings but since moving here, I have had to get used to them. Most of them around me have no barriers so the train uses the horn for miles – a sound I love. Sometimes on a quiet night I can hear them at night about 4 miles in the distance. Now I just stop briefly at the railroad and check there are no trains (not everyone stops…) The crossing above was right in the middle of the old section of town.
Santa Fe Depot
These train company names immediately bring nostalgic memories of old American movies and I dream of jumping on a wagon to travel across country.
Abandoned train line
Or at least I think it is abandoned – it is sometimes hard to tell out in the countryside. As I child I would have constantly been on these train lines imagining the destinations.
This is just one part of a very long train that had dozens of wagons. They sometimes are so long that it takes 20 minutes for one to pass.
Wildflowers beside the Walmart
As I was leaving the Super Walmart I noticed this field of bluebonnets, followed by red wildflowers and finally yellow. The sky was very overcast and it gave a surreal feel to the field. I attempted a photo watercolor below.
Watercolor created by using Photoscape
Santa Fe Depot, San Diego
Underneath my superficially normal appearance lurks a train geek. I thought I loved trains in the UK but trains in America are way cooler! I just need to hear a train whistle to get excited; I must be one of very few of the millions of people who live in the Houston area that gets stuck waiting for a concrete train to pass for 20 minutes and doesn’t mind.
Bright Red Trolley
As I walked towards the water from the Gaslamp area in San Diego my heart skipped a beat when I saw this fabulous old Santa Fe depot. It was built in Spanish colonial revival style in 1915. The hub combines access to Amtrak trains and the San Diego trolley system, buses and the San Diego Coaster, a commuter service. Although we are surrounded by trains in Houston and all over Texas, very few are accessible to people. Most ship goods from our frenetically busy port of Houston to all over North America.
Only 2000 plus miles to New York
There is a silly Subaru advert on TV about living an alternative lifestyle that is clearly better than everyone else’s but I do like the one where the girl with the turned-up nose looks longingly at an open train that drifters might ride on. Here is a link to what we call a SMUGAROO
advert – just casting a little shade…😈 Teddy and I argued endlessly about it the girl. I thought her nose looked like mine but Teddy was adamant that my nose was much nicer. We still keep arguing about it!
The coolest ticket station!
It is my dream to travel on the Amtrak train from Houston to California but the price is not right. Train travel is a luxury these days. Still I can dream.
I really admired the way San Diego had managed to blend the old with the new in a vibrant city.
Old and new architecture