Saturday, 13 August 2011

On the move again

I’m writing this on the last train of my journey: no more bizarre Amtrak rules (the trains are run along the lines of a communist state); no more being delayed for hours as we wait for a freight train to pass by; no more gazing out of the window at everything from awe-inspiring mountain ranges to downtrodden trailer parks.  I’ll miss the trains and would take another long-distance trip in a heartbeat.  If you enjoy time for quiet reflection and can cope with sitting still for 3 days stretches, this is definitely the method of travel for you.

We had beautiful weather in Portland (in fact, apart from the hideous 40c heatwave in New York and the daily thunder storms in New Orleans, the weather has been fantastic throughout my whole trip) but are now heading to rainy Seattle.  Richard will be happier without the sun but I’m going to be cross if, after 3 ½ weeks in flip flops, I have to wear proper shoes for the first time.

The last few days have included:

A visit to the famous Voodoo Donuts (slogan ‘The magic is in the hole’, and offering such delights as the cock & balls donut and the maple glazed topped with bacon).

A hike in Forest Park, the largest urban forest in the USA.  Measuring over 5000 acres and containing 70 miles of hiking trails, it was easily reached on foot from our hostel but feels like you are plunging into wilderness.  

A 15 mile bike ride along the waterfront loop whilst suffering from a cider-induced hangover.

Many conversations about the riots.  The bartender in our ‘local’ (the blame for the aforementioned hangover can be laid squarely at his door) was particularly interested in discussing the causes and implications of the shitstorm that hit the UK last week.  The guy at the smoothie shack, meanwhile, was scathing about David Cameron and so earned himself a nice tip.

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