Just outside our hotel runs what was a piece of the Sacramento Northern, an railroad that in its heyday ran electrified passenger railroad service from the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco, across the Bay Bridge, through the Oakland Hills, across the flatlands of the Delta through Sacramento, then up to Marysville, Yuba City, and on to Chico. SN was my "hometown" railroad, and while the wires came down when I was an infant and most of the line had disappeared, pieces of if were still at least under the SN name. I remember SN locomotives doing switching work in Yuba City running down the middle of Bridge Street. SN was absorbed, along with its parent Western Pacific, into the Union Pacific in the 1980s, and in recent years, the track had been progressively cut back, with only an occasional UP freight venturing onto the "Yuba City Industrial Lead." Not too long ago, UP received permission to abandon the Yuba City line and pulled up the track.
I'd always wanted to make a trip over the SN lines by rail, but that of course will never happen. Anyway, at least I can finally see what the view was -- admittedly, it's mostly old warehouses -- by walking the right of way a couple of miles from my hotel to downtown Yuba City and back.
The walk must have worked, because my blood sugar was only 100 afterwards. I can have a burrito for lunch later today -- Yuba City now boasts a Chipotle burrito house -- without feeling too guilty about it.
I wish all of you at Loscon a good time, and part of me wishes I was there with y'all, but to some extent, spending four days on something of an actual relaxing vacation without a lot of stress is doing me a lot of good.