What suprises me about trains is that you forget where you are going, the journey so catching you up in its thousands of stories. A twenty hour trip becomes timeless and therefore instantaneous as you move moment to moment meeting people of all walks over meals in the dining car, reading good literature and gazing out the windows in the observation car. And there you are with them, absorbed in the experience, settled into the quiet, when suddenly you remember where you are going – what awaits at the train station – and a fresh happiness warms through your chest. So quickly is the trip over in this way!

In a just eleven days I trained with Dona on the Coast Starlight to Portland (Natascha hooked us up with a train fun kit in the round bag in the photo) and met folks returning from Death Valley asking why we were vacationing in the Northwest this time of year and were seated at lunch with a mom and her cool 20 year old arty son named Jared who was a bit punky and friendly and won points for having ‘Water For Elephants’ in his bag.  We visited the Klien family, tried Stumptown cofee and smelled daphne for the first time.  I then trained to Seattle on the Cascades run and met an octogenarian traveling by herself visiting family and a woman crotcheting amazing lace on her grandmother’s needles while I journaled, sipped a nice bourbon and shared chocolate truffles. We visited Melissa and Lara and ate and laughed well.  After several hundred dollars spent at the art and yarn stores,  Dona and I drove to Port Townsend for Artfest and snow and then clear blue days in the middle of a ring of mountains. What a region is this Sound, surrounded as it is by the Olympics, Cascades, Ranier, water, islands, sky.  Flying home we went right over the Trinities and I saw the Caribou Lake basin where I went off trail last year, and the Wedding Cake deep in snow, where I hope to go next.  And this just the first of the wonderful adventures planned for my fortieth year.  Welcome spring!