The sky is a classic – splashes of peach, burnt orange, magenta and purple arranged around vivid stripes of clear turquoise. Long, ragged grey clouds hang listlessly in the sky, catching the colours as the sun falls.
And then the bells and the engines and the mournful horns blaring so loud they’ll be heard half a mile away. Three yellow engines, “UNION PACIFIC” scored across their sides in red, and the huge clattering freight wagons which could only be made in America. All of this thunders past, ten feet from where I’m standing, and I realise that this is it – all my childhood dreams and imaginings of the vastness of America compressed into this moment.
This is somewhere I was always meant to be.
This is a strange new contentment.
I climb back into the Jeep and drive home through the last dying light of the day, smiling.