Today, I got on a train in San Jose. Five hours later I got off in Santa Barbara, where I’ll be spending most of the next week.
Normally I’d have pulled out my computer and gotten something done on a trip like that. Trains are great for working – room to spread out, and really shitty cel/WiFi. But this time I went to the observation car, plopped my ass in a seat, and just watched. For five hours. And I am pretty sure I made the right decision. There were some amazing views as the train wound through the mountains outside of San Luis Obispo. Lots of farms and hills and distant mountains before that – which would normally be tedious but were kind of compelling, once I’d made the decision that I was going to experience the vast majority of the terrain I was covering.
And then, finally, the train came around some hills and there it was. The Pacific Ocean. I think I have missed being near it ever since I left LA a bit more than a decade ago. I kind of haven’t let myself acknowledge how much I missed it, and I won’t let myself remember this when I go back to Seattle, either. I drank in prettt much every inch of its coast I could. Endless waves on rocks. A little town with lots of trailers and a couple kite-surfers. The occasional lone surfer on a secluded beach. A single car parked by a scenic picnic bench. And. The sun. Slowly setting out over the Pacific.
I lived in LA for most of a decade and I never got tired of its sunsets. Every one was gorgeous, and I often stopped on the way home from a long day feeling sad about where my animation career was going when I’d cross a street and see yet another magnificent sunset.
I don’t have a point I’m making here. Just that I sat watching terrain pass by for five solid hours and holy crap I wish I could have that kind of attention span more often. And that I’m in SoCal again.