Sitting in the Amtrak Empire Builder, I glanced at the silhouette of St. Paul, MN for the last time as the city sinks into the horizon. Taking with it the rules, routines, and expectations that have been my life. For 19 years, I have been living someone else’s life, someone else’s dream. I have tried to live up to someone else’s expectations. I have planned for a future that simply is not mine. As the city sinks into the horizon, it took away everything that’s not me.
My imagination wandered into the clouds. Lost there, I see my future more vividly than ever before. Instead of college, a car, a house, a spouse, a child. I see adventures, the wild, free souls, life. Lost in my dreams, I found myself for the first time, I found a happy BAM!……….OW, face planted on the window*%$#….the train passed through a rough stretch of rails, and it brought me back to reality. 22 hours aboard the Amtrak Empire Builder before my adventure begins. All I can do now is look out the window. All I can do now is wait.
As the train crept toward the highland of Montana, a different picture slowly unveiled itself. It is an image of mighty mountains reaching high into the sky. It is an image of vast green forests stretching across the land. It is a picture of crystal clear water gracing down the slopes, nourishing all that is alive. It is a picture of beauty and serenity. It is a picture that sends shivers down your spine and urges you to jump out of the train onto the ground and just start exploring.
Trapped inside the metal boxcar, I gazed hungrily at this charming view for this is a welcoming change from the mountains of concrete and rivers of cars. Trapped inside the metal boxcar, I grew impatient to explore nature.
Crunch, Crunch, Crunch, Skreeeeetch………..Bomp! It stopped! The train finally stopped! Rushing out of the train, I filled my lungs with the sweetness of fresh air. A light breeze brushes against me as the rain falls gently on my skin. Such little things that bring endless joy to your soul. I had no time to waste, however. It was late in the afternoon, and I was then in bear country (still am now). I must set up my tent before dark. I hitchhiked to Apgar campground and that my friends were where the wild things begin.