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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Train Trip '22 Day 4: The Eugene Emeralds

The Emeralds use the Oregon Ducks field which is your basic field with only one major flaw: it's baseball on a rug.

I really was thinking the mascot would be a sasquatch. Not sure what this is.

What happens when you are on a hit and run and there is a pop up. You have to get back before the throw. He didn't.

The Everett Aquasox didn't score in the 9th so Eugene won 6-1.

Train Trip '22 Day 4: Oregon

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Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Train Trip '22 Day 3

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Beautiful way to wake up.

A train tunnel.

Sacramento Station.

Sacramento Station from the actual place you embark / debark Amtrak. I had been warned earlier that it was a quarter mile distance, but I was told there was a shuttle. There wasn't. Got there over 4 hours late and had to ruck march to and eventually from the station.

No air conditioning. Fans blowing constantly. Acoustics so bad that even if the fans weren't blowing you couldn't understand the announcements. Video signs warning what to do if there is an attack (Run, Hide, Fight). A tiny "lounge" for sleeping car passengers which had comfy couches and some snacks but was soon packed and too hot for comfort. I napped in the main room.

The federal courthouse next door.

I went out into Sacramento to look for supper. I found a mostly abandoned outdoor mall across the street from the station. I walked about six blocks out without finding any open restaurant (it was a Monday). I turned back when I hit the homeless encampments, saw a lady washing herself in front of the Sacramento library, and hit a local park which was filled with homeless people just hanging out. By that time dusk was starting and I turned around and went back to the station. Luckily, doordash works in Sacramento.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Train Trip '22 Day 2

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The view in the morning.

Starting the switchbacks as we climb toward Denver.

That rock looked awful close.

The Colorado River.
Fifteen people mooned us and three flipped us off from rafts on this river.

At a certain point the river turned redish-brown for a few miles.

As our altitude decreased from somewhere over 9,000 feet the cliffs around us stayed high.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Train Trip '22 First Day and a Half

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The trip this year is across the two northern lines that Amtrak offers: the California Zephyr on the way out and the Empire Builder on the way back with a stop in Eugene, Oregon to watch the Eugene Emeralds. This all started on Friday at Alderson, West Virginia.

It's a nice, little, unmanned station where the train only stops if there is someone to pick up.

This is not true. The station never opened and I sat outside in the humidity watching two guys mow the yards of the abandoned houses across the tracks. If Amtrak is paying someone to open and close the place it needs to get its money back.

Part of the reason I chose to get on the train at Alderson was that it was just before the train would go through a beautiful state park. I showed up two hours early, went and told the local police officer my car would be there for a week (please don't tow it), and sat down at the station to wait. It was a long wait and I even had to go eat supper at a local diner because the train was so late. By the time the train showed up it was dusk and I didn't get to see much of the park. I console myself with the thought that the trip back will be mid-day so I'll see it then. I stood up and put my duffel bag on my back at 7:15 and then the train didn't actually show until 7:21.

That's the train pulling up. Only, it didn't pull up to the station. It stopped short at the other end of that cement walkway. I had to walk down there with a full duffel bag on my back. Thinking back on it, it was the obvious place to get on (they wouldn't want to make people walk over the rocks with their luggage), but it would have been nice if there'd been a sign so I could have sauntered over there instead of doing a quick march.

Indiana in the morning.

Miles of these things.

Chicago graffiti.

Crossing into Iowa.

Burlington, Iowa on a Saturday night.