Amtrack Train Car in Transit

Amtrak Train car in transit- between Bellingham WA USA and Vancouver BC CAN

July 2016; (49°03’34” N, 122°51’57” W)


Background- Amtrak (whose name is a portmanteau and is therefore Jill approved) was founded in 1971 and runs train lines throughout the contiguous United States. (Sorry, Alaska and Hawaii.) It’s a cheap, efficient way to travel, but modern Americans don’t use it much, generally reserving train rides for special occasions. For example, almost everyone else on the train seemed to be traveling to Canada to get on a cruise boat headed for Alaska. Special!


Tastes- vague aftertaste of pepperoni and basil from my sandwich; (I was sorely tempted to lick the armrest, but refrained in the interest of public propriety)


Smells- no strong smells; slight smell or orange from my pile of peels at my elbow; slight plastic smell from the seats


Feels- floor rumbling, working up through the floor and chair, into shins and elbows and backside; stiff seats; slight motion sickness (I get it easily), little headache; pressure on wrists from acupressure nausea wristbands; slightly itchy wool sweater, especially across my shoulders still sun-burnt from California;


Sounds- children behind me chattering excitedly about eagles; deep voiced man talking to his elderly mother about their Alaskan vacation, about past berry harvests; group ahead fussing over customs papers (one bossy woman telling others how to fill out the form, checking their work); laughter; footfalls of people walking up and down the corridor; hissing of the doors between cars as they open and close; rumble of engines or wheels or whatever from below;


Sights- closer trees, posts, etc rushing past window faster than the farther bits; broad shallow deltas, corn fields, wooded hills; gray streaked sky overhead; curtains at window swaying, burnt orange and textured; tan and beige interior, brown mottled carpets; fairly full seating; elderly lady with gold rimmed glasses reading Louis L’Amour; redhead man with glasses sleeping with head hanging back, facing ceiling; middle aged Native woman carefully applying makeup, staring into a tiny handheld mirror and swaying with the train;