After adding that last post, I was surprised at how much of the rock in eastern and central New Mexico is not red at all but is black, volcanic basalt. It wasn’t until we got quite close to Gallup that the rocks themselves and not just the soil were really red. By the time we got to these red walled faces, the sun was low and the shadows sharply accented all of their grooves, and it reminds me of something John Steinbeck wrote in Travels with Charlie about the Badlands. I don’t have the exact quote with me, but he said that at night, as the light fell, the Badlands became the Goodlands and the shapes that had been eery in the full light were suddenly beautiful. I think these red walls are beautiful in any light, but the evening does bring out the best in them.
Somewhere in the high desert of Nevada, our train broke down last night. It worked out fine for me. I got four great hours of sleep while we sat there with the power gone out and I made it to LA just in time to catch the commuter rail out to Pasadena for lunch with my friend here. I’m off the train for about 24 hours before I take the Coast Starlight up to Seattle, and it’s great to be in one place with good people I know. I still feel like I’m rocking up and down with the cadence of the railroad though, so I think I better go for a walk and shake that out of my bones.