February 28, 2007

the train

On the train to seattle.
It is simply a beautiful ride...even though it started out 3 hours late (a ‘big’ deal at 3am). The great white north. It had snowed last week, and everything is blanketed in white...a painters paradise.
The train is definitely for people that can hang out. A great deal more conversation and interaction than on a tightly packed plane flight.
I knew when getting to the station that the train was at least 1 and a half hours late, and was dropped off at 4am after staying up all night packing one of three cars. It was here in the depot that I met the 1st of my new travel pals...a little bright eyed 18 year old girl (she made sure to tell me) looking for a safe guy, so she could sleep her way to Klamath Falls, Oregon. It’s certainly not the 1st time, but I always get a kick out of the young lady sleeping on my shoulder in the sea of empty chairs.
An older German woman across the isle saw my predicament, and offered to get me a cup of coffee and breakfast so I wouldn’t have to get up an wake my quasi-travel companion.
At Klamath it was,”goodbye and see you around.” Then 87 new passangers...most from an elderly tour group having a gander at the Oregon country side. As they fill the empty seats I watch the hard boys from L.A. out the window. They don’t really smoke, so much as they try to pull the entire cigarette through their face into their lungs in the 10 minute stop.
Eventually the fishing guide from Dunsmire id showing off this multi-colored collection of fishing hats, and serenading the ladies. I chat forestry with my new travel buddy and remember (so many years ago) when going to Klamath Falls was going to town.
The man from Sacramento tries to speak about politics. But when he compares the President to the W.W.II Japanese Emperor, the elderly ladies politely ignore him. I hold my tongue about having lived in Japan.
Not being an avid train traveler I soon made my first mistake. The steward asks me if I want a lunch reservation and I answer, “I don’t know?” I don’t recommend this response as a request for clarity. She moved on, and I ended up with a bag of pretzels.
What amazing views...stolen away with the odd tunnel...
The 62 year old fishing guide from Dunsmire has collected a 2 year old girl from a few rows up...this ought to be good, “Hey, I know a good looking girl when I see one” and they ‘dance’ in the isle. The woods become thick now. Dunsmire man has relinquished his baby-prop, and conversations are small and quiet as we move to the 2pm siesta time.
I begin to ask myself, ‘what am I doing?’ But with more of a capitol D. Here’s where my long awaited ‘free time with God’ begins to kick in. I listen, and begin to scribble away...

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