Archive for June, 2012

Planes, trains, automobiles & boats

June 15, 2012

Cross into Montana at the fort where Sttung Bull surrendered. Following the Missouri river – passed a cattle drive.  Canola fields.  And honey production.  Accordion music coming up.  Appropriate, as the book I’m reading, The Book Thief, has accordion playing as a central theme. 

Lunch as we watched Montana roll by. Buttes, high desert all covered by the bright green of early spring (at least to this part of the country) I can almost smell the sage brush, feel the wind on my back as I ride, in my mind, wingman… That’s me- pick up the stragglers or the calves who turn back.  My dog catches them before I even see the eye if defiance.  Ahhh… I miss it.  She doesn’t. 
Quonset huts store everything from the fierce Montana winters.  Ribbed, like the stomach if a whale, they hold strong against the winds and snow.  
The accordions keep playing.  
To our south , the Bear Paws sneak out if the horizon.  
Things I never thought about.  My years in martial arts gave me the ability to walk thru a bouncy twisty train without falling over.  The first patent in America is the rubberband. That won me a bottle if wine.  
I miss the cottonwood trees.  Down by the railroad tracks, where we slither by, America leaves its trash.  
4;50 pmto the north west, the sweet grass hills rise.  
Different tales from different trails.  Claire eide (mr)- nps  VIP rails & trails
Thor heyerdahl  American Indians in the pacific. 
Cross the gorge after sweet grass mt.  Another gorge before east glacier, very deep. 
Glacier- fast water, high peaks, chimney peak is about 10 miles from Canada. Waterfalls, snow.  Drunk woman from Yak.  Long talk with Neil, the Amish man from Michigan, who is a horse trainer with a quadrapaleguc son.  Long tunnel… Who turned out the lights.  Why are we stopped in a tunnel?  Talking about getting  claustrophobic.  
Midnite, on the way to Sand Point Idaho – were making up for lost time, at a pretty good clip.  Was just drifting back to sleep, the train lurched and jumped …  And stopped suddenly.  Horrible acrid smell like burning rubber .   A few minutes later mom is knocking at our door.  Trying to get us to call the porter.  She says she’s been trying to wake him.  We don’t understand why.  She leaves.   Panicked, disappointed that we weren’t freaking out.  A storm rolls in.  We wake up, David gets the scanner and starts listening, no lights in our room, no aur, thunder and lightfning, & something about debris strewn for a mile.  I go to see mom.  Her neighbors husband come and says we’ve hit a moose and have a hydraulic leak.  Rain.  Dead air.  So much for lost time.  
6 am wake up- so sound asleep I almost didn’t hear my alarm.  Ckackity clackity clack, rhythm and rocking.  Gentle swaying back and forth. Occasional lurches but no more mooses.  Boris & Natasha in my brain… Moose und squirrel.  
Wake up outside if cashmere Washington.  Produce boxes, the REALLY big ones, all over the station.  We’re in growing country- fruit, grapes, river curves around the mountains.  Here fishy, fishy, fishy.  My casting arm is twitching.  Must. Not. Cast.   
Everyone is talking about moose.  It ripped out hydraulic hoses.  4 gasket and a few hydraulic hoses and a brake line.  They had to check the entire train for damage.  
We must be up pretty high.  Snow is pretty close.  28 mph.  
Cascades tunnel… Lights out outside.  A bit disconcerting but at least this time I feel movement.  
Trees shrouded in mist. Drops are incredible to raging river below. Boughs weighted like hoops on a Victorian dress.  Moss for a bodice.  Soft and velvety.  Cosps of aspen.. Are there aspen here?  A birch family member.  Engineer walks by, says he hears moose parts falling off the train.  Ewww.  
White water boiling and raging.  Sign says “River closed to travel”. Flotsam strewn on the banks.  Now quieter, but still quick.  Just less angry.   Falls, not long or even a huge drop… Saw those in Glacier- ribbons falling a thousand feet or so it seemed, no, this one was wider and turned a corner, but the river had narrowed so it forced the water thru- pure white, deceptive in its whiteness- white does not mean innocent, but more like death.  Like many cultures, the funeral color.  
57 acre ranch for sale.  Riverfront.  Power lines.  The big ones. Everything is green.  Dark, unless it’s new growth then it is almost neon.  And vibrating.  Holsteins lazily eating grass, waiting for their bags to fill…and then relief.  Pine Creek nursery.  Horse farms, mud.  Lots and lots of mud.  Bamboo. Bamboo nursery. Public notice. Wonder if it’s to tell other residents that the bamboo is out if control.  
East Monroe.  Cute town from what I can see.  
Keep thinking about the book, The River Why.  
Foxglove blooming beside the track.  Bicycles hanging from the ceiling on the second floor apartment.  
Edmonds, over looking the puget sound.  Beautiful homes in the hill with a view… Of the train, and the sound.  The air is heavy, the sky touches the ground, the trees inthe mist like ghosts acting out a ballet.  
Landscaping- azalea and rhoderdendrums, nautical themes,  or not landscaped at all & overrun with brush.  Japanese gardens.  Blackberry bushes cling to the hillside, white flowers blooming and promising a harvest incredible… For birds and animals.  Too steep for humans to harvest, with the danger of falling into the RR tracks.  
Locks. Or loch ?  On the river side.  
Thursday 6/14/12
Ahhhh.  A good night’s sleep in a very comfy bed … That isn’t moving- or hitting mooses. Or meeses. 
 Dahlink, we must kaput moose und squirrel. 
I think I have a hang up about the midnight moose massacre.  (sigh) 
We had breakfast with friends of Mom’s. Woody & Martha Wood, a couple in their 80’s, he built Camp Denali back in the 50’s with his first wife, a bush pilot. Woody cut all the logs for the buildings over 100 miles away and dragged them on a flatbed truck with gearbox issues that they’d bought from Denali National park, and drive them back to the other side.  They’d paid $200/acre for the land, which wasn’t part of the park back then. It’s now a private holding inside the park, as the boundaries have changed.  Woody and crew felled, trimmed, cut and notched the logs with hand tools.  He says it’s much easier now with chain saws (he’s still building log cabins at 88 yrs old). 
Mom went off for lunch with girlfriends from the east coast.  We decided to take the ferry to Bainbridge Island.  Love Seattle and surrounding areas because of being so pedestrian friendly.  
Walking downhill is not hard.   I will find out later that if I go downhill in the morning, then it’s all uphill in the afternoon. When.   I’m.   T I R E D!
Things I’m happy about…
I have comfortable walking shoes. 
My kids listened when I said they needed their fleeces or lined anorak. 
I have a lined Australian oilskin.  
The ferry ride over was beautiful, but chilly.  The kids counted jelly fish and tried to catch seagulls as they rode the air currents next to the ferry.  Silly kids!
Bainbridge Island is beautiful.  Nope. We can’t afford to live there. We looked.  Bummer. 
Ate at the Pegasus Cafe down by the water – had to walk thru town to get there.  
I get the strange idea I’m paying for 3 days in the train.  Hmmm.  It’s a conspiracy. 
Garlic soup with garlic scape. Oh my gawd.  Delicious!  And as an added bonus, we don’t have to worry about being attacked by Vampires. 
Then again, no one wants to kiss me.  Or come near me.  Weenies. 
Lots of great shops on Wilton Ave.  I started exploring a local artist craft shop.   The peanut gallery stopped me. We ended up going to an outdoor store instead- they talked me into getting gloves for them (and me).  Technical gloves.  
We wore them on the ferry back because it was COLD.  of course, it would have been just fine if we’d remained INSIDE the ferry.  Nope, I had to spend the entire rude back on the bow, taking pictures.  Which you won’t see until I figure out how to get them off my iPad and into Facebook. 
Or… I could go buy a new MacBook Pro. 
Ahh… Well… That was a nice dream! 
Palomino Resteraunt – blood orange mojito.  Omg!  I’m in love!
Per Meredith:  there’s a lock on the bathroom, I think they’re afraid someone’s going to steal the toilets. 

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