Ionah toasts a train as it passes our camp on the river.
A couple years ago on this river we watched a circus travel by. I guess the show had just ended. All the players were still in costume. They were sitting, clowns and all, legs dangling over the edge of the cars and drinking. We exchanged wild waves and toasts.
A train or two usually comes through during the night. The only sound you hear for hours is the gentle desert breeze and the river lapping quietly on the bank. And then, suddenly, out of the silence you hear it. It's just a faint hum at first, seemingly coming from nowhere. Then it becomes a rumbling with a discernable threatening rhythm as it gets closer. Then it grows louder and louder until it shudders and roars as it passes like a thousand buffalo stampeding to their death. You lie there on your back in your tent listening as it screams and shrieks and then just as fast as it came, it fades back into the silence of the night. A terrible beauty is the Iron Horse.