Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Funny Memory: Accidentally caught on a Train

(From Chapter 2) Climbing up the train car stairs with my bags, I flashed back to senior year in high school when I got caught on a train. But that's another story.

And here it is.

Historic Grand Junction Station

In high school, I accompanied my visiting friend Susan to the train station in Grand Junction. Might have been the holiday season. She was a year older, had graduated from Fruita Monument High and was already living in Denver. Her Dad drove us to the station. Susan asked me to help her carry luggage up the narrow stairs of the train car.

I sat in an empty seat when she was settled and looked out the window and thought how cool it was to travel by train. It felt like a few seconds but knowing my problems with tracking time, it was no doubt quite a few minutes.

We said our goodbyes and I climbed back down the stairs. I told the porter by the closed door I was ready to get off the train. He said "You're kidding. We're already moving."

What?! Oh no! I looked outside and indeed, the ground was slowly blurring behind us and gaining speed.

The next stop was to be Glenwood Springs, a few hours away.

I'm sure I had a very panicked look on my face, mostly thinking of Susan's Dad wondering where the hell I had disappeared. (Mobile phones were not yet invented, kiddos.)

I watched the town slip by, standing by the door. I heard the radio conversation as they tried to figure out what to do with me.

Mount Garfield in Palisade, Colorado

Many imagined scenarios later, all of them ending in Glenwood or Denver, the train slowed, then stopped. The porter was really surprised since he'd not seen the engineer stop the train for anyone.

Deep, powdery soft snow of a field soon led the way to a Mom and Pop farming supply store at the edge of Palisade. They let me call Susan's father.

He drove all the way to the store to take me home on the far opposite side of the valley. Incredibly embarrassed of losing track of time yet again, I never mentioned it to my folks until last week, decades later.

Of course now I think it's absolutely funny AND a great memory. The hustle of Denver drowns out memories of growing up on the Western Slope of Colorado (Palisade, Grand Junction, Fruita). This train stow-away moment in time really captured the days of dry, cold air, the beautiful stretch of farms and orchards in the Grand Valley. Lush fruit trees in the desert during the green of spring. Thinking of that train incident makes it all rush quickly back to mind.

Especially when climbing up the turning stairs, carrying baggage on a train.

Grand Junction, Palisade, Glenwood Springs -- Western Colorado

This video recreates my unexpected train trip. No music, just a few minutes of the Colorado National Monument outside of Grand Junction, Palisade and a quick view of Glenwood Springs. The scenery looks too crumbly brown, without snow to make for a faithful re-enactment, but it still brings back quite a few moments of those years.


Press Play! Have you seen my TRAIN VIDEO?
Such wonderful scenery!

Music: Melissa's Waiting by Violet Edge

Amtrak Tickets


Susan said...

Christina, my dear old friend, your memory is impeccable! Your description really brought back that day for me and I can remember (once I found out) wishing that you didn't feel so embarrassed by it. How were we supposed to know how trains worked? And how were we supposed to know that a long lasting and happy memory was being created the moment you started up those train steps? Thank you for hauling my luggage that day, thanks for all the years you were my friend and thanks for recently entering my life again!

Susan said...

Ps - love your blog and have always loved your music!

Christina said...

Thank you, Susan! And such a well written comment!!! So true ... and I would have been less embarrassed if I hadn't always been constantly confused by life in general.

In middle school, someone gave me directions to a place RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from the school and I ended up walking miles far away in Fruita. The embarrassment builds up, especially when you don't grow out of it! :)

-- Christina

Christina said...

P.S. awww, THANKS!!!