Home > Scare Yourself > Voyage to Odd Places part One

Voyage to Odd Places part One


After passing under the Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Realistically to travel by rail isn’t about speed.
But those views.
Unless you are in a town in which case there is nothing quite like the back alley industrial sections that the train must traverse before reaching either the single room deport or the grand stations that exist in Seattle or Portland along the Cascade line.
Still there is something about traveling by train. Perhaps the nostalgia and pace is what appeals to me or the lack of interest in what food or drink I want to bring on the train and once I’m done there a bistro car can help fill in the gaps.

As a fan of aging institutions that refuse to die, after all I work in theatre, traveling by rail has a greater appeal than any sub sonic cattle car air liner could provide. After all TSA seems to enjoy performing actions fit of only for an awkward first date before a glorious wait in a soulless purgatory followed by the cramped conditions flying across the country in an aluminum tube only to emerge in another purgatory and then finally the real destination which could be heaven or hell depending on if it’s business or pleasure.

I recall the first time I flew.
Early in the 90s or the late 80s a post Christmas trip to San Francisco with my siblings and grand parents. An early morning Alaska Air flight where we were served a breakfast first for a comedy routine but in that moment it was all amazing. Fantastic, new and interesting. Moving so quickly to my destination before leaving the plane and emerging in a new city to experience a new sort of life. And far too many pictures of Alcatraz.

For a couple of years there was trip to Colorado and wilderness camp, a stream of Airlines now gone and of them I only recall flying Morris Air with it’s seats upholstered in fabric reminiscent of a neighbors couch, a general admission attitude toward loading the plane, and fact the plane felt like it might fall from the air. Even at that early age this budget flying didn’t seem the best idea for 3 kids on their way to camp but it’s what my folks could afford.

But now I sit on the train somewhere around Vancouver Washington heading north after a brief trip Eugene. Eugene where the weather was nearly 100 degrees and far outside the normal summer weather for the Pacific northwest… and as I return from getting a Kokanee (Kokanee: Glacier Fresh Beer ) what do I discover but a little Sinatra accessed via the head phone jack next to my seat. Truly a glorious day. But Eugene.


Now this trip was partially spur of the moment as my Mother and Grandmother were visiting as a possible last hurrah for my Grandmother and I happened to have some time off. Instead of wasting away in the heat of Seattle I boarded a southbound train at 2pm on Monday after working from 9am Sunday until 6am Monday to for a very brief visit.

Having no goals for this but a chance to visit with my family and a close friend of my Nana it worked out. Driving along a two lane road. Visiting the Ninkasi Brewery, find a Chuck’s like establishment and buying a fancy new squealer, and taking my mom to a bar that had open mic blue grass, good beer, which allowed her to smoke on their back deck. Right there will be something she remembers and tells people about.
So It was a good trip with my Nana even if she has changed from this powerful woman to a bent over shuffling old lady. It’s a change quite difficult for the whole family to deal with but when I am called on to speak with her about changing her living situation, her weakness, or convincing my family that as difficult as this is for us it must be hell for her to be betrayed by her body and mind. This isn’t a situation I ever expected to find myself in nor one I believe my family thought I’d be placed in but here I am.


King Street Station

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