Shots and musings from San Diego based photographer, David Phillipich

I Am the Southwest Chief

Ok, not really.  But I did take a ride on Amtrak’s “Southwest Chief,” a sprawling, crawling, smooth ass journey from Chicago to LA via Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona.  For the first time in my life, a genuine “all aboard” was announced and I got on a train.  Couldn’t help the stupid grin on my face as we pulled out of DC’s Union Station, destined for Chicago’s.  It was Monday afternoon and I was scheduled to arrive in Vegas some 60+ hours later. Awesome.

I spent most of Monday night blowing my nose, throat all sore.  Not a good start.  I was popping Vitamin C drops like they were Mike & Ikes.  It got dark in a hurry.  I kept thinking that I should be taking pictures but I wasn’t settled in.  Too self-conscious.  Too eager to blend in, not be a distraction.  Then the two guys behind me got drunk, then they got more drunk.  Then they got into a fist fight with the Conductor and Assistant Conductor.  C&AC won by decision.  Then they calmed down.  Then the train stopped and they went to jail.  Then it was morning.

I have several mini-stories I feel like telling but I have to remind myself that this is a photoblog and I’m supposed to be a photographer, letting my photos tell the stories for me.  Ohh well.

The sun came up again in Kansas, went down in Arizona.  The people were so normal and so fantastic, each with their own destinations, their own uniquely boring stories.  I spent hours looking out windows, snapping hundreds of banal landscapes that no one will ever see, eavesdropping on conversations about nothing.

Stupid grin on my face.

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6 responses

  1. Beautiful! Love the story at the beginning, love the variation in telling your story through your images. Nice work – they are gorgeous.

    March 28, 2011 at 7:47 pm

  2. Mom

    Great shots . . . I love the way you write!

    March 28, 2011 at 8:43 pm

  3. Nice job, DP. I really like #4. But 60 hours? Sheesh.

    March 28, 2011 at 10:01 pm

  4. Kat

    Real slice of life… #2 and #7 are among my favs. 🙂

    March 29, 2011 at 6:57 am

  5. Lovely picture story. 🙂

    March 29, 2011 at 7:20 am

  6. Aunt Sherry

    the photographs are amazing as they always are. I love your writing…kept hoping the story would continue, just as if I were reading a novel.

    April 4, 2011 at 2:04 am

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