T-Minus 2 Days

I woke up to the announcement that the dining car was open for breakfast. I checked my email, and I finally had one. I had not received an email for three days. Everyone is honoring my sabbatical.

The email was my expected notice from Scout and Frodo telling me when I will be picked up. There will be twenty hikers staying there with me.

When I get there, I will need to find a car with a yellow pompom in the window. This is the picture they sent me.

Admittedly, I must be clinically insane. Who gets into a complete stranger’s car just because it has a yellow pompom in the window?

I’m looking forward to meeting some of the people I have talked with the past couple of months.

Jason, from Utah is a retired police officer. He is my age, and I promised him the first round. As we are the same age and point in our lives, I suspect we will hike together a bit.

Jamie is from Wisconsin. We talked briefly because she was looking for some help storing equipment near Seattle. I thought I had a solution but it did not work out.

There were other names I recognized, but I did not know them.

The goal today is to continue to relax and detox from too much information. No news. No email. No social media. I was correct that the train ride was going to help increase my patience.

For dinner, my guest was Gayle, an African American grandmother who is taking the train to Los Angeles to bury her sister and to help her niece grieve. She is a real life angel who has spent 40 years as a teacher for kids with autism. I could read that she was a bit nervous sitting with me at first, but it quickly became the best conversation I’ve had since I’ve been on this train.

The dining car only has so much room, so you have to sit with people you don’t know. You have to make conversation, and I love to do that.

She has a special job to do, but she is already prepared.

With that, I will call it a night. Tomorrow I will wake up early, shower, switch into my hiking clothes and toss all the rest of the stuff I don’t need. The trail calls.

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