Sunday, June 4, 2017

50 for 50: 11.5 -- Finishing Up the Sleeper Car

I'm now in my hotel in Seattle.  The bathroom alone is bigger than my roomette on the train.  (The tub very nearly is.)  And I've got a little bit of that "is the room rocking" feeling you get when you've been on something moving for too long.  I've felt it from boats before; this is the first time I've been on a train long enough that being Not On A Train feels odd.

It was a really nifty trip, but it was just about as long as I'd want to be on a train -- they've got routes that are three nights long; I think that would get old pretty quick. (Some of it actually DID get old.  Like the, uh, cleanliness of the community shower.  And possibly some of food items.)

But two days was just right.  And we had quite a lot of lovely nature to see outside the windows.  

[And that's as far as I got writing this last night.  Complete sentences were deserting me at a pretty good clip, so I put down the computer and slept the sleep of the exhausted.]

In my last post, I noted the woman who got irritatingly political (anti-Crunchy-Lefty-Radicals) at dinner.  And now, for the other side:  As we're riding through Oregon (many billboards re: marijuana tourism), we are joined in the Parlour Car by a guy provided by the Trails & Rails program (Amtrak partnered with the National Park Service for this), who gets all facty about Upper Klamath Lake and that blue heron I failed to take a picture of.  Nature Guy is vaguely interesting; he could be a lot better.  I mean, there's crazy beautiful nature going on outside my window, and he's talking about WATER RIGHTS -- how all the people with different interests in the water came together and negotiated a deal that made everyone ... well, it made NOBODY happy, but apparently that's the best you can hope for when negotiating who gets to use the water.

There are about 7 of us listening to him, and one guy immediately pipes up, "I guess we need to keep the EPA after all."

I respond with something between a snort and a chuckle.

Trails & Rails guy (who, I am certain, has been very carefully instructed on this point) says that he's not here to take a position on any political issue; he's just talking about the national park.

Guy who had asked about the EPA immediately apologizes, says he wasn't asking seriously, but just wanted to see what kind of reaction he'd get.  He seemed satisfied with the reaction; all of us were stifling giggles.  I immediately liked this dude; spent the rest of the trip exchanging amused expressions with him.

Including later in the trip, when we happened upon Trails & Rails guy speaking to another group, and giving them the same fascinating water rights talk.


Another fun thing I've learned this trip is that Marty & Linda do crosswords.  Not together, exactly.  One of them will work it for a while, then hand it off to the other.  It'll go back and forth a bit, and eventually get finished.  They included me in the Circle O' Crossword Solving, and it was fun.  Fun learning which things they know and which things they don't.  Fun learning where my knowledge neatly fits in with that of my friends.  Fun finishing a challenging little project together.

Fun putting this 50 for 50 in the books!

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