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High in the Siskiyous as night falls, evergreen forest rising high up steep hills that block the fading sky on either side, thick, wild, untouched. My ears pop when I yawn.

roseambr, in a red sweater, is reading by a bright little lamp set into the seat back behind her. My computer is plugged in behind me. Our little compartment--just room enough for us to put our feet up on the edge of each other's seat--is like two facing armchairs in a glass-sided box, rolling and swaying quietly up into the mountains.

We shared a dinner table with a brother and sister heading home to San Bernardino County. They had steaks, I had salmon, roseambr had lasagna. Nobody had the game hen.

Dinner was pretty much cooked freight. Good company, though. Striking up dinner conversation with strangers on a train is pretty easy--you can spend an hour just agreeing that train travel is better than air travel, and we did.

We just came through a tunnel into a high vista at the top of the pass. Pitch-black trees against a dark-gray sky, and not a light out there anywhere. Not a highway, not a power line, not a billboard, not a road sign, not a headlight.

It was incredibly peaceful, and then Andrew our Sleeper Car Attendant came over the PA system:

"I have some not very good news. Low vacuum due to our high altitude has made it so that the toilets in car 1130 won't flush. Passengers in car 1130 will have to use the toilets in one of the other cars until we get down out of the mountains, around 1:00 in the morning."

Did I mention that roseambr and I are in car 1130?

*caps water bottle*



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March 2018


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