I spent 24 hours on a train crossing from Chicago to Denver a couple of days ago. The train passed through some of the states that make up the Great Plains of the US – Iowa, Nebraska, some other ones I forget specifically. I’m actually on a train from Albuquerque to Los Angeles while I’m writing this.
Anyway. Watching the sun rise over the Great Plains was truly awesome, in the original meaning of the word, which means inspiring awe, in turn using the true meaning of the word awe, which is not what a lot of people think it is. Look it up. Oh never mind, I’ll do it for you – otherwise I know you wouldn’t.
Awe – noun \ˈȯ\
1: an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime <stood in awe of the king> <regard nature’s wonders with awe>
2: archaic a : dread, terror b : the power to inspire dread
Somewhat like if the train had somehow crashed and I’d been the only survivor out there, in the middle of nowhere, I’d be afraid. And die. Definitely die. Miles to anywhere of anything of any note whatsoever. I can walk a long way, but I don’t think I could walk that far.
Yes, the sunrise over the plains was a wonderful sight. I hadn’t slept too much during the night, and I was awake anyway as my train was meant to be getting in at 7am, so I thought I’d head up to the observation car to watch the sky. Sitting staring out the window at such wide open expanses was actually somewhat revelatory (sorry, Tink) in a manner which I may or may not elaborate on at a later date.
I’m sat in the observation lounge waiting for the sun to set over New Mexico at the moment. I may even post some pictures I’ve taken from the train, though you’ll have to excuse the damn annoying reflections of the sun on the windows. I have not a polarising filter so I can’t get rid of ‘em.