One advantage of doing this trip during a non-winter month is the extended daylight that’s available when you’re not traveling over the winter solstice. I’m intrigued by small town America- something that I get a little bit of throughout the greater Pittsburgh area, but that’s an anomaly compared to the east coast.
The train tracks literally pass through Main Street(s), around tiny one-room post offices, right past the only gas station in town. They go through farm after farm, through the bordering town, over and over again. And as the train whizzes by, giving me a mere second to see something and grab my camera to try to capture it, people’s lives go on opposite the tracks. The mom and daughter heading off to school. The two middle-aged men putting siding up on a house. The lone driver in his bright yellow truck on a dirt road. The only house for miles having one tree on the property blanketed in Christmas lights while every other surface remains bare. The line of cars- four of them- waiting for the train to pass- no other cars as far as the eye can see.
Scenes like this still surprise and delight me; even though I’ve traveled off the east coast before, it still surprises me that life is so quiet outside of the northeast corridor. I know it as a fact, but to see it over and over again, for hundreds of miles, is different than even remembering any other time I saw it. And without as much daylight this time of year, every moment I’m able to see and capture becomes that much more special.
I’m posting photos on Instagram as I go- follow #AliyahByTrain on Instagram as well as Twitter for closer-to-live updates in between blog posts!