Train Travel: COWS!

You’ve heard the exclamation,”Squirrels!” right?

SQUIRRELS: An announcement of a distraction in your field of vision.


On the Southwest Chief, an Amtrak superliner from Chicago to Needles, the squirrels were cows. Lots of cows!

As I spent the miles sketching, jotting, crocheting, assorted forms of mulling, and gazing out the window at the scenery going by, suddenly my brain, and occasionally my actual mouth, would exclaim: Cows!


I do love cows. I don’t know what it is about cows that intrigues me. I’m certainly not at the level of cow loving that Temple Grandin expresses, but I sure can understand her fascination. (More to come about Ms. Grandin!)

While tracking across the country, I saw cows in barren fields, cows in ice-fog filled fields, cows in the desert, cows in ravines, cows on pasture land owned by fancy folk in the big city.

Huge Sigh of Delight

I didn’t expect to see so many cows. (If you see one in the photo, let me know. See Reality Check below.)

That’s the beauty of train travel. You just don’t know what you’ll see until you board and look out those big observation windows at the mighty USA.

I wrote this in my Amtrak-gray notebook:

“Absolutely gorgeous moments can be sprinkled among quite the ordinary. But … what is ordinary to one can be gorgeous to another.”

Like cows.


REALITY CHECK: No cows were actually photographed (at least well enough that I remember they are cows) during this train trip. They sped by the train so fast I didn’t have a chance to get a good shot. But they were there, I promise!

REALITY CHECK 2: Cow sketch was done on my phone using Autodesk Sketchbook as part of the Deviant Art challenge called (drumroll): cow.

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