Blogging to you from the outskirts of Vegas…. Las Vegas New Mexico. A guy just got off the train there just for the enchiladas.

I cannot fully explain why I feel at home, reassured by these vast open spaces of rock and scrub brush and sky. I overhear the passengers from New Jersey and Florida and Virginia shake their heads at what looks like a wasteland to people accustomed to malls and golf courses.

It’s the light, especially now on the leading edge of sunset, the infinite sky, and mostly a sense if a land do old it does not give a f*** about humans.

Even the tiny hamlets full if rusting rebar, pickups on blocks, heaps on busted cinderblocks…. Appeals to me.


I awoke in Flagstaff ready to roll at 3:40 am. There was a text message that my train was going to be 2 hours late. Do I catch some more sleep? It also said trains can “make up time” (it did the opposite) so it was not worth it to me to risk a miss.

The Amtrak station had a handful of other sleepy schedule victims, we lie knowing we share the same fate. A chatty old lady with a polish accent was eager to talk to everyone. She was sweet. She said “I only went to five years of school but I learned five languages.”

Another retired couple from
Pittsburgh asked alot about how different the world was these days. When I mentioned I was from Baltimore, the man got a little stiff necked and said “you know what that means?”

I failed and he reminded me of the rivalry of the Steelers and the Ravyns. “Not my fight” said I. He was immensely under impressed by the Grand Canyon “After you see it and take a photo, there’s not much else.”

I just smile, not in agreement not in anything I could muster an opinion besides, “Good, we need less people like you clogging that space.”

We boarded and the train set out. The space, even in the coach cheap seats is huge! And they recline almost full. Sleeping will be no problem (I already napped teice


We paralleled I-40, a route I’ve gone many times, like January of 2013 when I drove to Virginia. We cruised past Winslow AZ, Gallup and Albuquerque NM. I’m reading meaningless novels, taking random photos, did a few mini ds106radio broadcasts, tinkered a bit with my workshop materials for Tuesday, and posted about 4 Cinemagrams. Totally productive.

I ate lunch in the dining car with a retired couple from Rochester. After trading train and travel stories there was not much more I could muster. I might skip the dinner and munch my crackers and cheese I brought.


We duck into Colorado tonight and Kansas, friends are messaging me about tornados in Kansas.


I’m totally stoked about this pace of travel, soaking it in.


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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. Hey man, you just rolled through my town (LVNM)! If you are going to get a chance to stop through going the other direction, get ahold of me and I will take you out for some of the best New Mexican food you will ever have.

    1. Thanks Brett. I think I will roll through June 8, but they stop only a few minutes in LV. But if I motor out that way I will look you up for that Mexican food… and if you ever cruise west on I40 towards Flagstaff, I am about 70 miles south of Winslow.

  2. I’m jealous of your travels. This sounds so wonderful to me.

    About every other year I drive from the airport in El Paso to my grandparents’ home in Ruidoso, NM (and then, about a week later, back again). I find that drive to be gorgeous. My husband cannot understand how I see it that way. I was born in Austin and spent the first 10 years of my life in Texas, often driving to the Midland/Odessa area or to Lubbock. He was born in Charlottesville, VA, often driving up the east coast to Philadelphia or New Jersey. We have different definitions of beautiful landscapes.

  3. I almost thought that this was a place close to my home, but you were actually a few states away! There’s so much desert in this part of the country that it all starts to look the same…Hearing that you’re heading to Kansas is scary, though. I hope you avoided the disaster, or at least made it out alright.

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