October 3, 2011

On to Family

The wonderful greens of Oregon, the wonderful lakes and streams too.

Most important of all, G has a job. That jinx of going on vacation then coming home and being laid off is gone. Hurrah. As Sago writes, I have little rat and mouse stacks of this and that to tackle….all over the house. Not only did we ship dirty clothes and finished books home, I included the phone book. This morning I had to find the Ortho docs phone via online then humbly discover my appointment time. Now I will go back to reading blogs and cleaning up my little piles.
He got up once in the night as did I. I found the head without my glasses, and so did he. As we rattled through the dark, I peered outside my window only to see streams of cars lights running parallel to the train. I couldn’t stay awake nor lay on my right hip, but woke in the morning feeling wonderful just before the call for breakfast.

Left: A fire far into the distance. Right: Even in Oregon, there are junque yards to gladden the heart of G.

We left California just after breakfast into the gorgeous green trees of Oregon. Coffee was a great additive, available at the end of every car all day and all night.

Top: Trees and water, always. Bottom: Rail cars filled with scrap offered a fascinating view.

No reading today. I’d read enough in previous days, and now I was too excited. I had worn my sweats to breakfast, and as soon as our sad car attendant put our room into chairs again, I dressed and we moved to the parlor car. We found a table and began to figure out how train rides worked.

At the table we could set up the computer, his phone with the GPS, two cameras, and a train travel book that lists everything backwards for those starting at the bottom of the USA. We had to be back in our roomettes before lunch, they told us, so we could get a reservation for lunch. The cars were old and older. Many had been “proudly rebuilt” by various firms and now were being pulled again to get updated for wireless. No wireless access now unless we wanted to pay for it. We didn’t.

Left: Off the train for a few moments. Right: The Thomas Kay Woolen Mill.

The day moved smoothly by. Sometimes we would stop to let folks on or off. Usually there was no time for a smoke break. Occasionally the smokers were allowed off with very strong admonishments not to stray from the side of the train.

Left: The Victorian era Portland Inion Station with its new roof. Right: The famous clock tower.

Above: The lobby of the Benson Hotel restored back to its former glory.

Portland. The station looking even better than it was when we saw it last. The new roof gleams. The Taxi driver didn’t as our ride was only a six buck fare to the hundred year old Benson Hotel. The Benson, dramatic and with wonderful service. Our room was in the part that was built first, yet it was just as comfortable as a modern room.

Quickly we dressed for dinner with nephew and niece not knowing they had brought the kids. The food in the fancy hotel restaurant was passable, the company was perfect. What a delightful family, tho we now know to take them to the “Origonal” for dinner instead. Powell’s books after food. We all went, and they bought a handful of children’s books while I found the cookbooks. Of course. We got lost on our way back to the hotel.

Just delightful…all of it.


  1. Ooooh! How lovely! The dining car looks faboo! More!

  2. They look like such a happy family. Love the older child's hand on the baby's head.

    Loving the posts.

  3. The Portland Station is one of my favorites, disappointing about the Benson food, but I suspect its more about the abience than the food. What a great trip.

  4. Thanks for sharing your train experience. That is something that my husband and I have talked about doing....

  5. wow! thank you for taking us along!!! eager to read all that you've been up to, things you've seen! how beautiful!

    I like the beautiful scenery with the junkyards and piles of trash. Makes it very real!

    Makes me think of George Carlin's 1972 Ode to Industry:

    O beautiful, for smoggy skies,
    Insecticided grain,
    For strip-mined mountains majesty
    Above the asphalt plains!

    America, America
    Man sheds his wastes on thee.
    And hides your pines with billboard signs,
    from sea to oily sea.

    Well, it's home, and it's still beautiful, I think.

  6. Made me think a little of the Orient Express and glad there were no murders!


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Peter in front of a wall sculpture.      Peter in front of a wall sculpture. We were invited up to Peter Knego’s home...