Friday, January 20, 2012

A Year of Gratitude - Day Two Hundred Twenty-one

Day 221 - Detours and Re-routes
It was raining as Mom dropped me off at Union Station in the Pearl, definitely warmer than yesterday.  I was looking forward to taking the train to Seattle - it has been a few years since I did, and I enjoyed that trip.  I like the ease of train travel; no long security lines, no pressing crowds, and the ability to sit in comfortable seats and ample room to move about the car beats air travel on every count except time.  
I went to the kiosk to scan my confirmation printout to get the boarding pass, but it wasn’t working.  I got into line to speak to an agent, and that’s when I noticed the announcement on the TV monitors saying train service north of Portland had been canceled.  Oh, great.  Will I make it to Victoria?  Nacho has arranged for time off....
The agent who helped me was an older woman, possibly close to retirement, or maybe past customary retirement age; I thought the permanent scowl on her face made her look older than she probably is.  Her words were kinder than her looks, but she offered little in terms of conversation.  
She confirmed that all trains to Seattle were canceled, and that the tracks were washed out in... Centralia?  Chehalis?  Kelso?  I don’t remember.  Anyway, a bus would take us to Seattle instead - non-stop - and I assumed it would depart at the same time the train was scheduled.  OK, not ideal, but it will get me to the same spot.
I was so glad I didn’t drive (and certain that Mom would be happy to know she was right).  The freeway was fine until we got to Tumwater, when we had our first traffic; there was a minor accident, undoubtedly weather-related, and the tow truck was sticking out into the right lane forcing us to merge to the left.  
As we continued northbound, the snow was falling and the roads got worse pretty quickly.  Traffic was heavy and slow, and looking at the packed snow and ice on the freeway made me glad I wasn’t behind the wheel - I’d be a nervous wreck long before getting to Fremont.  The man sitting next to me had driven similar motor coaches in his youth, and explained that we were very unlikely to lose traction even on ice, given the vehicles weight and eighteen wide tires on the ground.
The driver expertly got us to the King Street Station as easily as if it were a dry summer day.  As I left the station, I was glad it wasn’t raining.  There was a faint amount of snow blowing through, but nothing that would warrant an umbrella.  I found my bus stop a block away - exactly as Michael at Metro had described - and waited quite awhile for bus 28 to arrive.  The driver - a pretty young woman - was helpful in explaining that I’d pay the fare when I get off the bus, and agreed to alert me when my stop was coming up.  That part of the trip went easily.
I got off the bus in Fremont, and noticed a taqueria on my way to Amy’s.  That’s where I’ll have dinner.  The walk to Amy’s was surprisingly easy (maybe these hiking boots offer more traction than I thought), and Zeus - her friendly huge dog - greeted me at the door as if he missed me.
Dinner at the taqueria - an enormous burrito - was delicious.  I went back to Amy’s and fell asleep for awhile until Sean, her tenant, arrived home.  He walked the dogs and we chatted briefly before I went to bed.
In all, it was a pleasant day despite the detours and re-routes.  In fact, it may have been a little less comfortable, but the changes made the trip that much more interesting.  By and large, it all had gone according to plan.  Now let’s see what happens when I take a bus in the morning to Pier 69 - the Clipper terminal.


  1. I would like the dispute the word "huge" to describe Zeus who is a svelte 55 pounds. But I'm glad to hear he was happy to see you as I'm sure he did miss you :)

  2. LOL! Thanks Amy. I will happily stand corrected. Though when the only other dogs whom I see regularly are of sizes ranging from overgrown mice to roughly the size of a football, hopefully you'll understand my perspective. And I know Zeus misses you.