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NOTE: For the Photo Essay, click the link in the main header (above) or HERE.

Right. Well, it’s 8pm and we’re finally about to leave New Mexico for Colorado–something which should have happened around, oh, 5:30pm or so. It looks less like I’ll be able to meet up with a friend in Chicago and more like I (along with a nice lady headed for North Carolina) will miss the connecting train to DC.

If I had any broadband reception, I’d look on the Amtrak site to see what my options are in that case, but since I’m in the middle of the Raton Pass, high in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, I can only assume there’s a later train. (Yes, I know what happens when one assumes.)

My expected layover in DC is/was 6 hours, so it’s not too crazy to hope there’s still a chance of making that connection. (Or is that another doomed assumption?)

We were so slow—and prone to stoppage—today due to weather-related problems on the tracks ahead. Namely flash floods and, rumor has it, tornadoes. It has made for a wonderfully cloudy day, so even with the problems which may result, I can’t get too upset.

Especially considering I knew full well what it meant to travel Amtrak. Delays, well-worn trains, and school-cafeteria-ish food.

On that front, I’ve used up all my lunch and dinner options and either will see if I can order from the children’s menu or repeat Sunday’s questionable hamburger experience.

If the other trains I’m to take have a different answer for what constitutes “mixed vegetables,” I will be grateful. Not that I don’t enjoy the challenge of extricating corn kernels from amongst a mound of barely-cooked soybeans…but I’m ready to move on.

Just as, despite New Mexico’s beauty and wonderfully cool and soft summer air, I’m ready to move on to Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois.

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