The Coast Starlight

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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.

 

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