Friday, January 04, 2013

That was the year that was...

I've been having a rest from blogging while writing much other material.
This last year I have been travelling to many different places. January in Philadelphia for the 112th edition of the New Year’s Day Mummers Parade – a distant cousin to bonfire. Spring break in Louisville, Kentucky. May in California for the car racing at Laguna Seca. June riding through France on my Brompton bicycle, from Le Havre to St Nazaire, via Le Mans – 600 kilometres. July touring the southern states by smart car, including Nashville and a visit to see Elvis in Tupelo, Mississippi. September on the train from Toronto to Vancouver, returning via Sacramento to Denver on the California Zephyr train. October in Watkins Glen, New York doing some research. October/November in England on Rocket FM for Lewes Bonfire.
When the double-decker California Zephyr pulled into Sacramento Amtrak station I said: "Now that is a train!" We soon reached the massive Union Pacific yard at Roseville, CA, and climbed to Cape Horn with its view 1500 foot straight down to the American River. Through the snow sheds to Donner Lake and Truckee, California. Riding into Reno, NV, where the station is buried in a huge concrete trench and the view between there and Sparks does not suggest a tourist destination. More trailer park than tinsel town. Elko, NV, where we stopped on the Bonneville trip, is followed in the middle of the night by a stop in Salt Lake City. Bearded Amish folk in straw hats are waiting to board the train. You feel like you've gone back in time at least a century. After some 36-hours you arrive in Denver, after endless mountains and desert.

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