Throwing Mr. Kaminski From a Train

By Patti Parish-Kaminski, Publisher

Seriously considering jumping off of the train

I rode a train.  Not the little open-air cart-type train that takes you around the Houston Zoo, but a real live steam-powered locomotive riding the rails through the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  What a grand adventure to hop a train to an amazing destination to explore the sights and sounds of someplace new.  Turns out, not so much.

Mr. Kaminski love trains, like a kid loves trains.  And I was happy to go along for the ride, so to speak, until the details of this train trek began trickling in.  First, there was the departure time of 9 am, which isn’t an ungodly hour, but since the station was an hour away and travel included snow-covered roads, that meant a very early, icy morning.  Knowing full well that I am not nor ever will be a “morning” person, Mr. Kaminski dealt with that obstacle head on by booking us at a historic hotel five minutes away from the train depot the night before. He definitely got props for that.

The next tidbit of information I noticed was the cost.  Seems like our credit card company had questions as well as they promptly texted me regarding the charge.  When I inquired why this day long trek was so expensive, Mr. Kaminski proudly informed me that he purchased First Class tickets on the train. He wanted me to be happy was the line he towed.  Naturally I inquired what all this extra special ticket entailed, certain the answer would be items of great value, such as an open bar, major swag, lounge chairs, blankets, waiters – things that I absolutely would appreciate.  Turns out First Class had a different meaning:  no kids and free soft drinks.  Yes, I was underwhelmed.

I dug a little deeper – my bad – inquiring about our destination, because I just knew fabulous shopping or historic monuments to explore would be the saving grace of this excursion.  Just where was this First Class train ticket taking us for the day?  What wonderful things would we do when we arrived at our destination?

Turns out our destination was nowhere.  We literally had a First Class ticket to nowhere.  You ride for 26 miles, stop for 40 minutes, then ride back the same 26 miles.  In the summer the train went to Silverton.  Seems that during the winter, the train couldn’t make it all the way to Silverton due to the excessive amount of snow – too dangerous.  “So, where are we stopping on this railway too dangerous to reach our destination?” I queried.

“We’re stopping and having a picnic along the railway,” Mr. Kaminski enthusiastically exclaimed.  A picnic, in the snow, along the railway.  To his credit, Mr. Kaminski had packed an amazing picnic, and once I learned that First Class did not include blankets, I had a blanket in tow, but as it turned out, I was in no way prepared to participate in a picnic on the frozen tundra.

Nevertheless, we boarded the Alamosa car – the very last car in the 14-car train – and so began our day.  I couldn’t quite understand why we had a two-mile hike to get to the First Class car – that seemed counter-productive to me – but alas, we made it to our seats, such as they were.

Our stylish ride consisted of a chair, a straight back chair like at a dinner table, in front of a small table.  The chairs were not affixed to the floor, and there were no seat belts.  Yes, seat belts were needed, particularly on the return ride, which for some reason was much rougher.  By the grace of God there was a bar – a cash bar – and Isaac, the bartender, and I got to be great friends.  Isaac learned early on that no, it was not the best idea for me to try to actually get up and traverse my way through the swaying car to the bar.  I would just wave at him periodically, and a new drink would magically appear in front of me.  I’m pretty certain I was his best customer that day.  God bless Isaac.

The picnic was a frozen fiasco in the middle of nowhere.  I held out for 12 minutes tops.  But I will give Mr. Kaminski credit on the menu.  I couldn’t get back to the bar soon enough, and I shared my picnic lunch with Isaac to insure he and Tito would stick with me on the return 26 miles.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kaminski opened windows, stuck his head out, took pictures and was genuinely tickled pink.  I secretly thought of pushing him out, more than once, but I didn’t’ have a spare hand what with me holding on to my chair for dear life with one hand and holding my drink in the other.

Hanging out at the caboose of the never-ending train ride to nowhere.

Yep, I rode a train with a First Class ticket to nowhere.  I can check that off of my list – for good.  See y’all next week – on the porch!


Patti Parish-Kaminski

Follow Patti Parish-Kaminski on Facebook at and on Instagram at