Working here at Something Independent I’m lucky enough to meet great people, see new places and learn new stories. Hopefully this entry and those to come will help put words to the mini-adventure I was so fortunate to share with the participants, mentors, and staff aboard The Millennial Trains Project.
For me it started in Grand Junction, Colorado. Standing on the platform, waiting for a train full of millennials, and carrying two boxes of Palisade peaches picked just an hour before, ripe and ready to be enjoyed. All I could think about were random, small things, “Maybe I should have picked up some Dramamine? Can a train ride make you motion sick?” and “Everyone’s already been on the train for a couple days; I hope they don’t mind a stranger hopping on board and wanting to hear their stories.”
The Millennial Train pulled in, attached to the back of Amtrak’s daily California Zephyr, and it was time to start the journey! I quickly climbed aboard and was immediately welcomed by the MTP’ers. This journey across the country with 24 millennials and mentors in tow had embarked from San Francisco just 24 hours earlier. Walking through their first two private train cars and into the third of three of the MTP cars, I was able to quickly get my bearings in the tight quarters of the cars. I found my way up a short set of stairs to an upper level, glass dome seating area. The best place to spend the day indeed. I found an open seat and plopped down with all my gear. The views up from the dome car were immediately sweet. Passing through the Rockies in this train with this group of Millennials was going to be amazing. I was ready for the day’s adventure.
As I introduced myself to the group the sounds and rumblings of brakes loosening, signified we were pulling out of the station – and we’re off.
Chatter slowly started to build amongst the MTP’ers – participants, mentors and staff. It was hard to tell who was who, but I joined in on a conversation and began to understand more about what this transcontinental adventure by train meant to them. And, they were equally as interested in what S|I is all about and what they could expect to see as we chugged through the Rockies. After only a few minutes there was an immediate sense of camaraderie and community; I was just another millennial along for the ride.
— Ally Seeley