wends its way from San Francisco all the way to Chicago. The journey is neither instantaneous nor as quick as a fight. It follows its own way up into the foothills then across the broad plain of the central valley before entreating the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Stops along the way let passengers alight in Richmond, Davis, Sacramento. Baggage service is available to some depending on starting and stopping stations. For others, they have to jam their cases in the compartments located on the lower level of their particular car.
I am headed to Reno for no other reason than it seemed like the thing to do for a couple of days. George flies back home today and I don’t leave until Wednesday. When I made the plane reservations those many months ago, I had no idea of his actually travel schedule so made the best guess based on guess and price. As it turns out, I am not exactly the only person taking a break from the Bay Area by traveling to Reno. The train to Sacramento followed by a bus to Reno would have been a bit faster and cheaper, but this seemed like the way to travel especially with the weather.
For whatever reason, I have a seat in the lower coach. It is raining which really limits my visibility from the train window. Not that the walls of pines wouldn’t be obscuring my view of the distances should there not be either rain or the dense fog. Perhaps some of it in this particular stretch is low lying clouds? I thought about heading to the observation car, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense. In any case, I have the Amtrak booklet next to me in order to follow the journey along the rails and through history. As a result it was easy to identify the main cities for the first three hours of travel along with rivers and the former McClellan Air Force Base (now a commercial/private/military cooperative airfield).
Repeated tunnels through many of the hills speak to the increasing elevation and the amount of work, dirt and rock that was involved in establishing this rail line connecting the west coast to the rest of the country. Along the track, the leaves have long since turned color and most have fallen while others are stubbornly clinging to branches providing a a rich golden accent to the green of the pines and firs. the occasional flame of sumac flashes bright in the undergrowth too fast for me to capture on camera.
Going over the same area as taken by the ill fated Donner party, there is snow on the ground. Scattered patches in some areas show the last of summer green while others are already covered thickly.
It’s a nice ride for watching, reading and of course, knitting.