Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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Day 20: And So Ends the Train Trip

I woke up around 7:00 just before Dunsmuir, a stop we should have made some hours earlier, but that didn't bother me because I'd had probably the best night's sleep I'd had on the train on the whole trip, thanks to relief over the stress of Motor Coach Doom and not needing to be up early.

I tried to quietly move around and go to breakfast, but it turned out Lisa had woke up on her own anyway, and we got our stuff together and headed for the Parlor Car, where we had breakfast on their limited Parlor Car menu. It was pretty much the same eggs and potatoes as the main diner, but the sausage was better in the Parlor. At Lisa's suggestion, I bought one of the Coast Starlight polo shirts they had on sale.

Our delay meant that we were going through the Mount Shasta area in daylight, getting views of the mountain from three sides that we don't normally get as the train lives up to the "Starlight" portion of its name by traversing the Cascades at night.

There's not really a whole lot interesting to write about today. We spent a lot of time in the Parlor Car, talking with people freely. Lisa and I talked trains with the young railfan we met yesterday -- coincidentally also named Kevin. He was interested in all of our stories, and it's not difficult to keep us talking on the subject. I gave Young Kevin my printout of radio frequencies used on this route when he was having lunch with his grandmother.

After lunch coming down the north side of the Cascade crossing, I got sleepy around Oakridge, so Lisa had me take a nap. I slept through Eugene and woke up as we made our Albany station stop, which is the 30-minute warning for Salem. Lisa had been talking with Young Kevin outside our room as I stirred and we finished packing our room. I carried our bags downstairs, gave our car attendant another $5 -- I'd given her $5 yesterday afternoon in case we got separated, and she had been very nice to us -- and got ready to leave the train for the final time on this trip.

At about 4:15, we rolled into Salem, and Lisa's father was waiting for us. We were slightly over two hours late, but considering that yesterday evening we were contemplating an arrival sometime around midnight and trying to convince a taxi driver to take us 30 miles out into the country, this was a minor issue.

As we neared Stayton, I realized that it was a weekday before 5 PM, and asked Lisa's father to stop by the GM dealership so I could pick up my van. Total damage was nearly $1500, mostly in cost to replace the air conditioning unit with one that uses modern legal coolant rather than the old banned Freon. I paid for the repairs, and we moved our bags from Lisa's father's car to my van and he went straight home while we went and got groceries. I'm glad we got this done today, because it saves a lot of time for tomorrow.

Returning to Mehama, we unpacked and Lisa sent me over to her father's house to check mail and post about how the last couple of days went. There was a lot of mail. Unfortunately, I hit the wrong button and permanently deleted what was almost certainly a real message that had been false-flagged as spam. If you sent me something about Girl Genius's Hugo Award and didn't get a reply from me, I apologize!

Unfortunately, a bag of minor computer stuff (a USB hub and the power connector for my laptop's cooling pad) appears to have gone missing. It's not a huge problem -- everything can be replaced -- but it is a minor annoyance. I don't think I took it to Montreal, but that it got mislaid at Lisa's father's house. It might turn up again someday. OTOH, the bag in question may have had other cables I'm less happy to be without, even though they also can be replaced.

I'm sufficiently dug out from immediate e-mail concerns to shut down soon and go get to bed early. I have to be working again tomorrow, and I see that there is a project waiting for me, so I'm not in the mood to stay up all night dealing with lower-priority item.
Tags: amtrak, lisa, trains, travel

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