Sunday, November 03, 2013

Roots on the Rails - Heading South from Seattle to LA - The Final Chapter

Sara, the Grand Turismo, mentioned that the trip back on the same tracks that we went north on would seem like a whole new trip!  Hmmmm, I thought.  She was so right.  It seemed like we had never seen any of this.  The wetlands above were one example.

This tree was in Salem Oregon.  Home of my friend and fellow blogger, Steve Cotton.

I don't even know what to say about this RAT.  It just appeared on the side of the track and made all of us grab for our cameras while we were in the dome car. Obviously it was HUGE!

The private "sleeping car" gave a new definition of the term closeness.  About 5 x 8 (I'm guessing) it was an adventure to find what one needed to dress each day, much less anything else.  I searched and searched in my suitcase all week for the battery charger for my camera.  I KNEW I had packed it.  I arrived home to find it - in a "special place" in a pocket in the suitcase that I never even thought to look in!  Aaaargh.

Even the walkways were narrow.  As the train swayed and lurched, I learned to have my arms out on both sides to use as balancing agents as I moved as fast as possible to my destination.  Each time was an "adventure".

I loved the light fixtures above the bed.  They had either a pink light or a green one.  I won't even attempt to explain those colors.  However it reminded me of a light my parents had attached to the headboard of their bed when I was a tiny child.  I even have photos of i from back then circa 1940's.  Seeing it here in this cabin brought back sweet memories.

See the little leather pocket attached to the wall?  That's where I put my glasses so I wouldn't lose them.....

I don't even know what to say about the water closet.  If you needed it for one function you backed in....if you needed to use the sink, which dropped down from the wall, you walked in, one foot.  Notice the razor blade depository on the wall to the left of the sink.  A trip back in time.

There was also a shelf where  you could leave your shoes, in the olden days.  There was a small door in the walkways to pick up those shoes, shine them, and have them back for the owners in the morning!
How cool!

This gives you an idea of how close the water closet was to the bed.  Thank heavens there were hooks in the room so one could have a few things out of the suitcase during the day.

Thursday night as we headed back to LA, Peter, Rick, Dave and Chris treated us to a blues concert.
It was a real treat.

Peter and that magnificent harmonica was sweet music to my Southern ears.

Chris as well, really jammed with some great blues.
All of them gave  a stellar performance.

I have no idea what body of water this is unless it is San Francisco Bay with the big freighter heading out.

The landscape was constantly changing.  I loved how these tenacious trees were hanging on for dear life.

Near Santa Barbara we saw fields and fields of oil rigs.  Of course, being from Texas, I'm used to seeing them.  But, truthfully, not this many all at one time except in east Texas near Kilgore.

Purple mountains majesty came to my mind when I took this photo.

Last but not least, from the dome car was our train passing another train.
Woo hoo.

I've reflected now for a week about why this trip had such an impact on me besides all the things I've already said.  I have come to the conclusion that it was so intense because it was as though we were in a time capsule.  No outside influences - TV, radio, internet, telephone.  Just the "in the moment" experience.

The intensity of it all still lingers in a kind of sad way because it ended!  And, in an awesome way because I was so privileged to have experience something that I didn't even know existed.

Thanks for the memories!
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Anonymous said...

I loved the rat. It made me laugh out loud, also the bit about losing your charger in "special pocket." I can't tell you how many times I've done the same thing.

It sounds like a wonderful trip. Thanks for letting us live it vicariously. This is a great example of why I find blogs so much more interesting than TV or a lot of other media. You just get to read such interesting adventures.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where we are working on a little tour of our neighborhood here.

Babs said...

I would SO love to know the backstory of the RAT!

Tom said...

Love it! Thank you for your posts. I remember traveling in those sleeper rooms when I was a kid. Even got my shoes shined leaving them the little box thing. Yes, the WC was tight for a 10 year old. Can't imagine now.

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks for sharing the trip. I think I would have thoroughly enjoyed it. I played with the idea of spending the summer of 2014 on Amtrak. And I still may.

Babs said...

Tom, how wonderful to have traveled on the train as a 10 year old in a sleeper car. What an adventure.

I did travel on the train from Texas to Illinois as an 11 year old but must have slept in the chair because I know I've never seen a sleeper car before. Even then it was a delight!

Babs said...

Steve, I feel like I went on a cruise on wheels.........loved it.
I think you would also.
However, the trip from LA to Seattle was only 2 days. From Monday morning to Tuesday night. So maybe you're thinking of traveling all over the country?