In summer 2004, I traveled across the United States by rail. This photo essay presents the sights I saw along the way -- and describes the surprisingly wide range of people I encountered. Everybody on the train is a stranger, but at the same time, nobody is a stranger. The long-distance passenger train is like a small town, where you leave your door unlocked, and where your kids are free to walk around by themselves. Come along and see what a four-day train journey is like.