July 13, 2009

Part 2 of Traveling to BSG

I'm a scenery watcher, and I especially enjoy seeing new scenery. One of the best parts about riding on the train is that the train tracks often follow a different path than the highway, meaning I get to see areas I haven't seen before. The rails hug the shoreline north of Gaviota and travel through Vandenburg Airforce Base, both areas with little public access. It also cuts through the Elkhorn Slough, north of Salinas, and I swear I saw a sea otter floating on its back in one of the waterways. I didn't get any good pictures (or bad for that matter) of that area northbound, but I do have some I'll share later in a southbound post. In fact I have very few pictures of the rest of the northbound journey. Partly because somewhere between Salinas and Oakland it got dark. Its hard enough to take pictures on a moving train during daylight. I didn't even try in the dark.

Just north of Pismo Beach the route leaves the coast and heads more directly north, heading through cattle country, oil country and crop growing country, then to Salinas, where it gets closer to the coast, you can get off the train in Salinas to catch a bus to Monterey. But it never really runs along the shoreline again. After the stop in Oakland, the train tends eastward to Sacramento and from there heads right up the valley to tree country.

Cattle country, north of Paso Robles. I love oak savannas.

Oil Country

Northern California tree country. Early.

Oregon tree country. The trees keep getting in the way of the view. :-)

On the northbound train I worked on my Summer Waistcoat, starting with a provisional cast on at the shoulders and working down the back towards the bottom of the armholes. I wasn't sure how deep I wanted the armholes, and didn't feel like figuring it out, so I switched and started my traveling socks and worked on them until I felt like going to sleep.

Most of the night the seat next to me was empty, my seat mate had de-trained in Paso Robles. I was able to use both seats and get sideways some and get comfy enough to sleep, sort of. I didn't really expect to sleep well, so I didn't mind too much. But a one point, after I had returned to single seat postion, I woke with a start to realize I gained a new seat mate. I think I grunted and rolled over and went back to sleep. I was more polite once the sun was up. During the night the train made up most of the time lost the day before, so I arrived in Eugene only 5 or 10 minutes late.

The view from my friend Dusty's place.

Turns out the shearer was on his way over that evening, so this was the before dinner entertainment. These are the neighbor's sheep, pre-shearing. They're not raised for wool, but still need shearing.

Post shearing.

The fleece pile.

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