To take up the story from last night, the train was an hour behind schedule. This allowed me to be sitting on the floor of the Oakland Amtrak station when I received the phenomenal news of Barack Obama’s reelection as a simple one-line blog post: Obama Re-Elected. I missed the fanfare, the play-by-play, the sportscaster-fanboy-skeptic drivel of the news networks. Just a calm piece of news. A second term. Four more years of right wing extremist politics averted. Whew.
So I slept well on the train. Riding overnight in the coach section, I’d learned to curl up across the two seats in a fetal like position. It seemed I hadn’t slept well in days, for whenever I woke on the train, I would lay down and fall to sleep again, even after sunrise this morning. I was fortunate enough to be awake to see an amazing view of Mount Shasta as we passed at about 630am. Then back to sleep.
Somewhere midmorning I woke for good, to the giggles, bickering and overall excellent parenting of four small children in the seats ahead, traveling alone with their mother. I think my brothers and I would’ve made much more of a ruckus.
Over the Cascades then down into the valley. Clouds darkened the sky. When I saw rain on the windows at Albany, I knew I was home. Almost. I stayed on the train this time, heading to Portland to visit my family and stretch out the bicycling a couple more days. The Portland skyline appeared, silhouetting the setting sun. I reassembled my bike – simply reattaching pedals and straightening the handlebars – while chatting with another traveler about to fly to Costa Rico for a bicycle tour.
I rolled into the chilly evening, a full 30 degrees lower than when I boarded the train. I was glad to have a few more days to settle into Oregon, before returning to the drama and work of running my Corvallis life. Many things to contemplate, relationships to resume, decisions to make.