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Saturday, January 01, 2011

Very very

Your blogista reports on her journeys

Okay, so Risa jinxed the Empire Builder.

She said she would like to do some sightseeing in Montana, but as we all know, to Risa sightseeing means mountains, and the mountains of Montana are served up by the Empire Builder under cover of darkness..

But soon after Risa and the six hundred other passengers gave up on the darkness and folded up their little toes (not being able to move much more) and go to sleep, the train stopped -- and stayed stopped. Until daylight.

What had happened was a freight burned out its power on a single-track section somewhere up ahead, leaving the Empire Builder and a host of BNSF freight trains out in the cold. The last temperature Risa had seen, on a bank sign in Wolf Point, had said three degrees Fahrenheit, and that was in the afternoon. At two in the morning, she stuck her head under the curtain to assess the night. It was very, very cold by the window, and darkness reigned supreme -- except for the stars, which seemed very, very near and very, very bright. Though it had not snowed in days, there were no tracks on the white stuff out there -- many furry things had elected to stay home for the week. She slept again, albeit fitfully.

Dawn came and, with, train movement. We were now eleven hours behind schedule. The man on the intercom -- engineer? conductor? -- Apologized profusely for Amtrak -- though the accident was BNSF -- and offered everyone free breakfast. Half an hour later, the lady on the other intercom -- dining car -- assured everyone breakfast would be served on time, and announced the ususal range of exorbitant prices. Confusion reigned supreme. After awhile, she returned to the airwaves with a notice that those who had already paid for breakfast would be refunded, but they would have to keep their receipt or get a new one because Amtrak could not refund without a receipt. Then someone -- probably Risa's deceased uncle -- got on the air to say that lunch would be complimentary. Or was it breakfast? Anyway, no one's talking right now.

Risa's having gorp, washed down with water.

So, about the jinx. All this happened right outside the gates of Glacier National Park! Those of us not too bedraggled to look were treated to the sight of Glacier Peak and its siblings robing themselves in the blindingly, achingly, terribly gorgeous pink and golden light of a midwinter sunrise.

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