As the lights of Flagstaff fade behind us, we roll again out into the open desert. The lights dim and passengers head back to their seats and compartments to rest. I can't sleep to I head down to the cafe in the lounge car and order a beer. Unfortunately they ran out of Sam Adams, so I found myself sitting in the cafe with a can of Miller Lite.
I talk with the only other passenger in the cafe, an older looking lady eating a midnight snack. I find that she is an ESL teacher hailing from Northern California and coincidentally, her first job was teaching at the University of Colorado, where I now study.
"I loved Boulder, but couldn't stand the snow."
We talk about snow, Colorado, California, teaching ESL, the grad student life. She inquires about my research, which somehow leads to a whole new discussion on sustainable living. Finally, my beer finished, and the feeling of sleep slowly setting in, I wish her a pleasant trip back up to NorCal, and retire back to my darkened coach seat for the night.