I am on the road again.
Or, more accurately, I am on the tracks. On an Amtrak train heading toward Olympia, Washington.
My house cleanup has not been as steady as I would have liked. So unsteady that I have extended my Oregon stay to 9 December.
Even with the extension, the house will not be ready to go on the market.
But I needed to make my way north. I may -- or may not -- write further about that.
When I am in Europe, I use trains extensively. I seldom do in the western section of The States. Car travel is simply far more practical.
I must confess, though, I do love trains. Not in the trendy left way where trains are seen as noble reactionary beasts doing battle with automobiles. It is not a fair fight. And without substantial infusions of taxpayers' money, there would be no fight at all.
For $54 (US), I get a very comfortable reclining seat in the business class car. A wi-fi connection (that I am putting to good use right now). And a closeup view of a portion of America I have always loved.
My love affair with passenger trains began in the mid-1950s when our family took the train from Portland to Detroit to buy a new Ford station wagon. We then drove back to Powers briefly visiting sights along the way.
My Dad was one of those drivers who saw driving as a start and a finish. All of the stuff along the way was merely interference in getting where he wanted to go. As a result, my memory of the middle section of America is a bit hazy.
In 1966 my parents sent me off on the train with a group of high school students to visit Boston, Salem, New York City, Washington, and Charlottesville. Being 16 on a train without parents was the very essence of freedom.
Other than two trips between Seattle and Portland in the 1990s, that has been my history with the American passenger train system. It is just enough to keep the romance alive. Any more trips would make me realize train travel is nothing more than riding in a spacious Greyhound.
So, for those of you who are American taxpayers, thank you very much for the subsidy. I am enjoying my trip.