Wildflower Train: Solano County Springtime

Eye poppies and brass buttons on the former Sacramento Northern mainline.

IT IS ABSOLUTELY SUBJECTIVE... as to whether the lulling, gentle rocking of a train makes staring out of a window more pleasant, but many a rider would say it does. That's because the person is not driving, for one, which is something that can add to the general air of relaxation. But the pleasant feeling is also enhanced by the interesting sights seen out of a train's window. So what's out that window? Many historic railroad tracks still pass by Victorian-era towns and undeveloped countryside, so the small-town charms spied out from one's perch on a train, paired with that old-timey rocking, adds up to a nice journey. The journey gets a mite nicer come springtime, when flowers are apt to bloom adjacent to the tracks, but it can be expected that seats for special wildflower rides will fill up. There are a few dates ahead for the special Scenic Limited, a Western Railway Museum train that toot-toots not far from Fairfield. That means, as a guest, you'll be soaking in some Solano County splendor, specifically the wildflowers that pop up in the area in April. Trains'll be doing their traditional chug-chug-a-long thing each Wednesday and each weekend day from April 2 through 24, but it is up to time and nature and the weather as to when the annual petal extravaganza will truly get going.

THOSE PETALS... will include poppies and brass buttons and goldfields and several other sweetly named flowers, but you don't need to pick out each beautiful bud as you pass by. Just enjoy the petals in profusion, as you enjoy the train scene. You'll spend an hour traversing the Montezuma Hills, and if you cast an eye past the wildflowers you just might see Mount Diablo. There are three Scenic Limited trains on the days mentioned, and a few ticket options, including a First Class ride which includes lemonade and cookies in the parlor car. Reading to be rocked 'n lulled back to another era, where people found quiet joy in staring out windows at all-too-brief wildflowers? We modern humans also enjoy such an experience, of course, though we don't incorporate as often as we should. Here's a chance to do so, along the old Sacramento Northern line, this April.

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