January 2, 2021

Gratitude: Train Spotting

Train passing near the American River Parkway trail
Taking a late afternoon bike ride along the American River, a practice in itself, I heard the whistle of an approaching train. For three months I've passed under these rail road tracks but have never seen a train. I realized today was my lucky day, but I had to move quickly to get to the vantage point for viewing. 

Back in November I was up on the raised train tracks and met a trainspotter who was on his lunch break from Costco located nearby. He timed his breaks so that he could watch trains ramble past as he clocked their travel on his walkie talkie. Hearing the train reminded me of him and the romantic notion of trainspotting. 

Today I am grateful that I was the trainspotter. The sound of the roaring engine and the shaking of the earth put me in an energy frenzy. I would not miss this opportunity to see the train up close. I scrambled up the bank with my bike and was able to hear the roar and experience the rumble. Plus, I was close enough to feel the wind of the train as it passed my spot. With all these feelings I cried tears of gratitude as I waved hello to the engineer and dozens of cars later waved goodbye to the caboose. Each train tells a story and I could imagine the journey of these now-empty cars which at some point were filled with materials. Or, were they on their way to be filled?

Caboose and cars empty on their return journey.