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On a train. by Mike Colvard
 

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  • I’m writing this on a train, on my way home from Macworld in San Francisco. I was lucky/blessed enough to have a company that paid my way and all expenses. It’s been a wonderful adventure to be sure. It’s been a while since I road the rails and that was in Europe several years ago. My adventure started early last Tuesday when my best friend and world traveler Tony was kind enough to take me to the train station. Upon thanking my friend I went to get my boarding pass from the kiosk inside the Fresno Amtrak station. There were a few travelers that frosty morning. Like something out of a movie the train pulled into the station just as the sunrise was flashing warm tones of pink, yellow and orange. I opted to go to the top car which was a good choice if you like to see the countryside. Unfortunately the view while leaving through Fresno is less than desirable. I felt like I was seeing the dirty underbelly of my town. Parts were very rundown and dirty, I wish people coming through didn’t see that part.

    Once out of Fresno the scenery changed to farmlands and the agriculture which makes this area one of the largest producers of food in the US. A much more enjoyable view. After spending a while fussing with the spotty wifi I started to see more open country, small farms, small little burgs. These were just coming to life on this brisk January day. I saw a lone child in front of his little farm house waiting for a school bus, I saw two dogs barking and chasing a horse. The scenery blurred into fields and orchards and didn’t get interesting until we entered the Deltas, then the land was divided with waterways, houseboats and river commerce. This was a part of the state I hadn’t traveled much in so it was very interesting seeing the terrain. As we traveled towards the bay everything was new and interesting. I guess that’s the beauty of riding the train, you can look out at the world going by with no cares or worries. The train ride was very relaxing and peaceful for me I can’t believe I didn’t do this more often. Unfortunately the Amtrak San Joaquin doesn’t cross into the bay, our stop was the town of Emeryville from here we boarded a bus for the trip into the city.

    I was amazed at how good the bus drivers can maneuver through the crowded and narrow streets of San Francisco without hitting anything or anyone. I made it to my destination and the city was full of life, people scurrying here and there, tourists, shoppers, business types, hipsters, bums and wierdos. The rest of this trip is to come in another story…
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