Travel: Vagabond Adventures Vol.1.1: On Amtrak

I was recently invited to bring my expressive style of art to Indiana for a ceramic tile project for a client and friends kitchen.

The journey to Indiana began on Amtrak. I always wanted to travel by train and when my friend Nate brought it up in a conversation I was ignited to try.

photo of amtrak

Dropped off at the station, I was plunging into the unknown transient world of the train commerce. When the train worker started calling people with meal tickets I knew I was in a new place. Realizing after I was on the train that you buy all your meals on a train. Having brought no food or drink for the trip, I was about to get acquainted with the diner cart.

My first reaction on the train was the fear of having nothing to do. It jumped on me when I was looking at the girl in front of me pull out her laptop and start watching a movie. All the sudden the weight of a 25 plus commute loomed over me. So I pulled out my notebook and started writing, I knew I just needed to create. Creating is like fresh air to the soul. After reclaiming my trip from the grips of a laptop, I wandered back through the train carts. I really was in a new world. There was an observation cart I went through. Which was all windows, plenty of views, and plenty of people to chat with.

I eventually floundered back to the diner cart and was seated with Greg from Ouray, Colorado and Andrea from Elko. The menu was given and I ordered a steak dinner. Pretty good eats, and great conversations with Greg and Andrea. Greg shared about his life as a jeep tour guide, and no kidding Greg is a jack-of-all-trades. Andrea shared about her family and about her home with expression paint all over the walls, she described it a bit like a murder scene, I saw art, when she showed photos.

dining cart on train

One thing that surprised me about the train was swaying movement like we were in the sea. I got use to it that first night. I sat down in the observation cart and jumped into a seat which I was soon along side Joe and Melissa. Joe was reluctant train conductor for another train company who longed to express himself. Melissa was surrealist artist, & activist who had been on the rails since California. We dove into conversations about creative expression, the abstract, following your dreams and passion. One of the things Melissa said thats stuck with me and been a theme for my creative career is, “you gotta put your creativity out their, your contribution always comes back to you.” This is my new mantra. Trusting that when I give away my expression it will return to me. 

The night came soon, and lights were like fire flies as we gazed out the window. Joe got off and as midnight came and went I returned to my seat.

Click on Photos to Enlarge.

This was the beginning of vagabond adventures to the midwest. More to come. Photos, journal entries, videos, and of course a break down of the expression art on ceramic tiles.


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