Amtrak West from St. Louis

We were out of the gate, er, station, about an hour and a quarter late this afternoon (Wednesday) due to a brush fire and brake problems slowing the Missouri River Runner down on its run east to St. Louis before picking up a new batch of passengers and heading back west. Two heavy rain showers unloaded themselves on downtown St. Louis while we waited. I escaped outside for breaths of fresh air a few times during the wait, as there were nearby passengers with way too much Gain or Tide in their clothes plus some pesky strong-smelling floor-mopping going on. (Most of you know how chemically sensitive I am. That may be my next crusade – fragrance free areas. Wish me luck on that one.) While outside, I observed sheets of water coming over the side of the interstate sections high above every time a vehicle up there passed. An unsuspecting person wandering on out onto the sidewalk would have gotten a sudden and hard-hitting shower. The St. Louis Transportation Station – replacing the old familiar “Amshack” – is located down under the elevated I-40/64, for anyone not familiar with the city.

Over the last 20+ years, I've probably taken the St. Louis – Albuquerque Amtrak trip at least that many times, and I always enjoy the ride through the various neighborhoods with their distinctive architectural styles heading out of St. Louis. Beautiful unsupported brick masonry with its dentil molding and cornices and its need for tuck pointing.

As of 6:30 pm, the rains are over, at least for now, and there is pretty Missouri sky and sun glinting pink reflections on the wide calm spaces of the Missouri River running along side us between Washington and Hermann. It's a soft-focus look with all the humidity. Thick and lush at the end of spring, fully-leafed trees between river and rail flicker sunlight into the coach, to be filtered a bit more by the streaks on the window.

The Missouri River between Washington and Hermann. Train speed, dirty windows, and shooting into the sun do not a great photo make.
Missouri sky and water at high speed.
I don't know where along the route the brush fire was this afternoon, but perhaps the rain came at a good time. And so far, the brakes seem to be working just fine.


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