Southwest Chief — Iowa

At about 11:00, we crossed the Des Moines River into Iowa.

We cut across the little bit of southeast Iowa that dips down between Missouri and Illinois, so we weren’t in the state very long.

Here’s a bit of video to give you an idea of how fast the train was moving and how quickly I had to frame and take my photos.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

We soon arrived at our next stop — Fort Madison, on the Mississippi River.

I wandered about the car for a bit taking photos because the river was on the other side of the train. Fort Madison is home of the last remaining swing-span bridge on the Mississippi. The highway crosses on the upper level and the train crosses down below.

When I returned to my seat, the young woman in the next chair was on the phone to her grandmother. She was talking fairly loudly and sitting only three feet away, so I couldn’t help overhearing much of the conversation. I first took notice when she said she was on her way back to Wheaton. Then she said that she’d had a good weekend at home because she’d seen her sisters concert and gone to church. I wasn’t going to say anything, but when she got off the phone she turned to me and asked if I knew whether the train was on schedule. I told her I’d heard we were actually ahead of schedule, then I asked her where she went to school. She said Wheaton College.

She grew up in Wisconsin but now lives in Kansas City. She’s a junior, training to be a teacher, but wants to go to India or South Korea for a few years after she graduates to teach conversational English. Her dad went to Trinity (where I went for a year), and she used to serve as an Awana leader in her church. We only talked for about 15 minutes because, as we crossed into Illinois, I was called to lunch. It was cool to make a connection with another Christian, even if only for a few minutes.

To be continued …

This entry was posted in Transportation. Bookmark the permalink.