Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Waiting for a Train

As soon as we realized how serious the delay might be, we scurried across the street to Holland Hotel.  What a surprise!  The hotel had been completely remodeled.  I have a long ago history with this place and it was delightful to see it in such great shape.

Once we were settled into the hotel, we walked up the street to the Old Granada Theatre.  By chance, we had seen an advertisement for a ballroom dance at the theatre on Saturday night.  Thinking we would be on the train by the time the dance started, we didn't give it much thought, but when plans changed, we took advantage.  It was actually more jazz than ballroom, but since it was a benefit for the municipal library and we were dancing, it didn't matter much.

We spent most of Sunday in the hotel, sandwiching some pleasure reading and computer work between efforts to find out exactly what was going on and how soon we might expect to leave Alpine.

Late Sunday evening, our efforts were rewarded with new reservations on the regularly scheduled train Monday night.  With no more need to stay glued to the computer/phone, we rented a car and went exploring.

First stop:  Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Gardens.  

Second stop:  Fort Davis
Third stop:  Marfa

We drove through Alpine and down the highway toward Big Bend National Park to the Cathedral Mountain Road.  Although the trip through Ft. Davis and Marfa had taken us through some very dry country, the grass was much greener toward the park.  Obviously the rain hadn't been evenly distributed.

As we drove back toward Alpine, clouds hid the sun and mist threatened to turn to rain.  I love those cloud-shrouded mountain views.
As soon as we had the security of new reservations on Monday evening, I knew I had to have a apron to add to my collection to remind of this adventure.

Depending on how you hold your mouth when you read the words, it could mean, "How could you leave me stuck in this wretched place for 48 hours?"  or it could mean, "Thanks, Amtrak!  For the joy of 48 hours I hadn't known I needed to soak up some west Texas glory."  At different times during the two days, it meant both things.

But, as with most trials, when it was over, it was just another adventure to tell.
And for that, as always, we have to say, "Thanks, Amtrak!"