(Images have been added to day one,)
In the predawn darkness, I awoke to the outlines of tall evergreens passing by the train windows. Over breakfast, it grew light enough to see Christmas trees covering the hills. There was a scattering of there kids of trees too. Dunsmuir offered colorful but tiny homes against the green of the Squalimi Mountains.
The car attendant, Cruz, kept his eye on us as we moved on through the rocky escarpments and beautiful trees. Slowly I began noticing differences in the trees. A few towered to the skies, others were of the height that we would find in back or front yards. Some were just tiny green specks against the earth….third growth. After a fired burned area, we entered the Clovos. Doris was six miles into the Butte Valley National Grasslands. Miles of empty plateau with grassy scrub ringed by hills just off State Rout 97. Small towns whipped by. Most looked prosperous. Only a few homes in each town were ringed by the obligatory scattering of abandoned cars and trucks.
Juniper trees began to appear amid the pines. At the Klamath Wildlife Area, we glimpsed red shirted hunters gathering on the edge of sloughs. The world seemed to move faster now. At Klamath we saw the brick arches of the Museum and school. Passing Mt. Tielson, we saw only bits through the clouds from the edge of a lake. A tiny town of Bordoff Point whipped by . Here they collect algae from the lake as their source of income.
We cross a string of rivers, the Williamson and the Sprague heading into a second growth area pressing close to the train north of Klamath. Tall Ponderosa Pines intermixed with white trunked trees. Slowly we began to climb into the mountains. Suddenly we entered a tunnel, the first of a string, and found our selves back out into a winter wonderland of flocked Christmas trees. Snow we chorused. In and out of the tunnels we went, with water falls on the far sides of each…but no pictures.
It grew dark, and slowly we pulled into the outskirts of Portland hours later than scheduled. We shared a cab to the Airport Thrifty RAC and headed North to the 5 and Everet then Washington and our friend Cee’s house. A wonderful Stew smell filled the air, and after a slice of olive bread, chocolate cake, and conversation until Cee slid almost flat on the sofa, a wonderful soft bed awaited us.