Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Travel Concerns

I had some extra time and my recent dealings with airlines had been less than pleasant – so I booked Amtrak for the trip west to Seattle, two weeks ago. Always looking for an adventure I rode coach traveling west, but returned First Class via Sleeper Car for the eastern leg of the trip. There were certainly the usual array of colorful characters on the western-bound coach car; such as the gentleman that drank one Budweiser after another from the moment we left St. Louis at 6:35AM until we arrived in Milwaukee that evening. My disdain slowly turned to awe as I watched the man drain cans, seemingly, without interruption. Forget the alcohol content, how can one person consume that much liquid? (and the snack car was selling them for $4 each!) - North

Monday, April 21, 2008

Beachfront on the Kitsap Peninsula

car to train
train to train
train to car
car to ferry
ferry to car
and back again

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Written Ten Days Ago

3:05 AM - outside Fargo, I am sick of the southern floods. More than a few traces of snow smatter the fields and cars as we enter town. Wandering tracks that look like Andy Goldsworthy was imitated – by God or maybe Moses have broken the frozen top-layer of snow. My body cries for sleep. My mind is resistant. I’ve waited too long, pretending to be North, to rest now.

A few hours backwards - in Milwaukee, the passenger manifest changed starkly from black to white. The matter-of-fact division was unnerving. As we enter the Dakotas, I’ve been a train traveler for twenty-one hours. The trip from St. Louis to Chicago was hellish. I’ll relive it in reverse next week. Is there an opposite to hell?

I’m listening to Glen Hansard and Mark√©ta Irglov√° through a single headphone. I leave one ear reserved for the sounds of my wife and daughter breathing as they sleep despite the rush of rain now sheeting the train. Thunder slaps the sky above the coach car; the lingering winter clap does not stir them to recovery in this lost northern spring. Moments require soundtracks; I was raised to be entertained. Bob Dylan carried me across Illinois and then again we conquered the face of Minnesota (his lost homeland), together. With the flat wet Minnesota terrain behind me I encounter only more unregistered tundra on the rails of North Dakota. My Montana is in the distance, though Washington is the final destination – I now rely on the melodies of an Irish and Czech duo to get me there. I can’t ignore the fact that I am an immigrant myself - in this adopted northern country; relying on the voices of fellow-foreigners in one-half of my head.

We’ve pulled away from the last remaining lights… a remembrance of civilization outside Fargo. The entire world has gone dark – except the single reading light above my head. While the other passengers sleep, I can only find dreams with open eyes. - North

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Spring Over the Ridge

Flash floods continue to remind us that Spring is both lovely and hateful. - North