This is a shot taken while on the train from Fort Worth to Austin a couple of years ago.
That month I crossed all of the southern border states from Florida to California by some form of land transit, the first half with my sister’s family and my cousin, the second half alone on a train.
I thought the 2.5-day train ride from Fort Worth to LA was enjoyable but it’s definitely not for everybody. One prerequisite is that you’ve really got to like trains. Second is that you’ve really got to like talking to random people.
I sat in the “viewing car” for most of that trip, alternating between working on my computer, taking pictures, and having conversations. Based on my experience, it seems an awful lot of book authors find the train to be a great way to get inspired.
I chatted with one older man, a successful rancher and a writer who has published a couple of humorous books about life in Texas. Just outside of Fort Worth, he came into the viewing car, took one look at me and my tangle of devices and cables and said “You’d make a great character in one of my books son.”
I didn’t get a lot of work done until he got off the train in Austin, but he was welcome distraction with plenty of quirky only-in-Texas stories to tell and too many facts about the crops just outside the window.
Lack of shower for the duration of the train ride was my least favorite part of the trip. As soon as I got to LA I walked over to Korea Town and took a very long bath at a spa where hardly a word of English was spoken. So taking a bath in the early morning with a bunch of old Korean men was my ever first impression of LA. It was lovely.