Locomotive Breath

I took a train from Paul’s house in Sacramento to my oldest son Joe’s house near Santa Ana (Southern California) last month and I’ve been meaning to share some pictures of my trip with you…….so here goes…..
1There were a few cool looking old buildings at the Sac train station.
2The Sacramento River.
3Rice fields.
4

 

Most of my pictures were taken through a window of the train, so often you’ll see glare or reflections.  Nevertheless…..love the sunflowers.

5Having just said that, I took this picture leaning out the open window of a door between train cars……yee haw!
6

 

Starting to get close to the Bay Area…

8Someone told me they thought these were old oyster beds.
9Lots of industrial buildings.  I’ve always liked the way they look for some unknown reason.
1011

 

← There was a brief stop here.   It’s the same place I met Willy for a few beers when I first got back to the States.  In fact, I even got a glimpse of the bar where we met.

 

1213

 

Moving toward the Central Valley….

14So much of California looks like this.  I’ve always thought it looks like folds of fabric.
16

And so much of California looks like this……

 

 

…..and this……

17

 

 

 

……and this……

1518……and so on……
19…..and on……  acre after acre….mile after mile after mile……
Honestly, I felt like a tiny little cell in a vein of humanity, of history, of everyday life.  We’d slow down in various towns to take on new passengers and I found myself looking into people’s back yards ~ an old guy sitting with his shirt off and a beer in his hand, enjoying his afternoon.  …..homeless (I guess) people camped out near the tracks, making do with what they’ve got……  …..old, dilapidated shacks ~ who lived there at some lost time?  What did their house look like then?  What happened?  Why did they leave?
There were stories to be told all along the way. A train ride is a candy store for the curious.  Dorothy Parker said:
“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”
Thank god.
21These bicyclists decided to get into a race with the train…..we beat ’em…. easy peasy….
22Well, this telephone pole’s got nothing on the electrical lines in Ha Noi, but I do like those old glass insulators.
23Traversing the horseshoe curve near Chorro, California whilst descending into San Luis Obispo.  The train you see moving to the ← left was my own train as I was moving to the right →!  I’m sure you have an idea what a horseshoe curve is, but to help a little, here’s the Wikipedia description:  “A horseshoe curve is a means to lengthen the passage of an ascending or descending grade and thereby reduce the maximum gradient of ascent or descent. In other words, if the straight route between two points would be too steep to climb or descend, a more circuitous route is chosen in order to increase the actual distance traveled, thereby allowing the difference in altitude to be averaged over a longer track length.”
24

 

Finally, the ocean…..

 

25All told, this was a sixteen hour day.  Not all of it was on the train (I had about an hour stopover in L.A.).  I’d decided to take the train partly because it was cheaper and partly because I like trains.  I still do….but, whoa, was I exhausted by the time we reached the southern coast.  I pretty much put my camera away at that point.  Upon reaching L.A. Station, I asked directions to catch my transfer.  I was told which way to go and I promptly….went the wrong way.  But it was okay because I found this….
26….the ceiling in the newer part of the station.  Pretty cool.  But here’s where I was redirected to wait for my transfer….
28….even cooler, huh?
27293031I arrived at the Santa Ana station at 10:30pm (I’d left at 6:30 that morning….oy) where Joe picked me up.  I’ve been enjoying my time with my him and his wonderful family (and extended wonderful family….or is that wonderful extended family…..or extendedly wonderful family….anyway, Rachel’s family is great) and my sister and mother.  So, it’s been really nice.
Unfortunately, I don’t know what’s going on with my ‘job’ in Turkey.  I thought I had a job and honestly, I don’t know what’s going on with it at this point.  Fairly disappointing to say the least.  I’m still working on getting it figured out.  If this one doesn’t work out, of course I’ll try for another one…..it’s just been a tad discouraging…..and it’ll take longer to get there….but I’m going to keep working on getting there…..whenever that may be.

6 thoughts on “Locomotive Breath

  1. Great photos! I’m still looking forward to the day where I can take the train from Sacramento to Portland in the winter. I’d love to see all the snowy mountains! ~Megan

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  2. I feel like I got to take the trip with you (a trip I’ve always wanted to take) without having to spend 16 hours doing it! Beautiful. I love Union Station — your photos are wonderful. And the Dorothy Parker quote is perfect for you! (and I hope, me). xoxoxo

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  3. Dear Janice. I now have gone through several of your wonderful trip tales. I loved spending time with you during your visit with Joe, Rachel and Cosimo, yes I agree that we are all part of a very unique family, ever searching and learning. Be well and hopefully employed soon. Nancy

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