My amazing train trip has come to an end. It appears that I have brought the Sacramento heat wave with me back to Leavenworth. Yesterday was a balmy 110 and the forecast for Tuesday is 115.
Lots of highs from my trip down the coast. The spectacular ocean view in California…..well, I just can’t come up with the words to describe this. It’s something you have to experience. Even the photos don’t do it justice. I’d love to do it again.
Other highs I’ve written about in previous posts included the gorgeous rose gardens, the beautiful Japanese garden and the Grotto in Portland, as well as the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.
Two places that I’d still like to visit are Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. The view from the train was interesting and I’m sure there’s a lot to see in both places. Perhaps next time.
But there were also a couple of lows to this trip. It was quite depressing to see the extent of the homeless camps in every city I visited. They are everywhere and what upset me the most was the children who live here. They are surrounded by alcoholics, drug addicts and people with serious mental health issues. They live out of shopping carts and under tarps, and in tents if they’re among the more fortunate.
The second low was the ever present racial tension. Although this familiar logo was found everywhere, the damaged and boarded up downtown storefronts are reminders that the rioting and unrest are far from over.
My travels in the last three weeks have been memorable, but it is now time to think about traveling to Canada on my next trip now that quarantine restrictions have been eliminated for fully vaccinated Canadians.
I’m sipping a last cappuccino at Old Soul as I write this post. This quaint coffee shop not only has amazing coffee, but the food I’ve had here has been delicious as well. The air conditioning and WiFi are added bonuses.
This is my last day in Sacramento and I’m reflecting on my life. I am thoroughly enjoying my travels on Amtrak. The view out the window more than makes up for the lack of WiFi. I’ve seen towering trees, humongous mountains, tranquil lakes and charming small towns.
When this is posted, I will be on amazing train ride along the coast to LA. Can’t wait for those ocean views! I read about this particular train ride a couple of years ago when I was in Mexico. I need to pinch myself that I am actually taking this trip now. When Covid reared its ugly head I doubted I’d ever be able to do this. But here I am, on a train headed down the coast.
This has been an amazing and much-needed trip. I’m just not used to spending 11 months in one place in Mexico without traveling and then eight months in Leavenworth without traveling either. Covid has really slowed this nomad down.
I am determined to seek more adventures for as long as I can. I’m not getting any younger but I must admit that the knee replacements and the cataract surgery have definitely enabled me to do what I do. Life is just too damned short and the days fly by even faster as we age.
June 19th marked 25 years since my mom passed away. I wonder what she’d think about my lifestyle. She lived within 10 minutes of her kids and grandkids, and hated going away for the winter without seeing us for a few months, although we did visit her in Palm Springs or in Port Charlotte. I’ve been living in different countries from my kids for the last 11 years and only see my kids if I travel to them.
I think my kids want me to settle down somewhere. Maybe someday I will. I’m just not ready yet.
I left a rainy and cool Portland and arrived in a hot and sunny Sacramento on Tuesday morning. Hot doesn’t accurately describe it. Excessive heat warnings have resulted in the zoo closing early. Temperatures have been hovering around 110 degrees all week.
Nonetheless I found myself on a light rail heading out to Folsom on Wednesday. I didn’t go to the prison. Instead I wandered around the historic downtown area. Lots of interesting shops to explore selling everything from clothing to souvenirs. I especially enjoyed the art gallery.
The buildings themselves were quaint.
On Thursday I went to the Crocker Art Museum in the morning. I especially enjoyed the Tiffany display. Unfortunately photography was prohibited in that area. But I did capture quite a few shots of the other exhibits.
It was a short walk to Old Sacramento. Here again the shops were interesting as well as a good respite from the heat.
Saturday marked Juneteen, a day when slavery was officially abolished in the USA. A celebration was held around the corner from where I’m staying. The street was closed to traffic and music and vendors were everywhere.
I had hoped to leave today on a train trip along the coast headed south. The train was full so I am now leaving on Tuesday instead. I plan on spending a lot of time indoors. No escape from the heat yet!
After a whirlwind week of sightseeing with Laurel in Portland and a relaxing weekend in Lake Oswego with Nona, I found myself back on Amtrak headed for Sacramento.
I love Amtrak! I don’t have to get to the station three hours early to go through security. My knee replacements don’t set off any alarms and a body scanner isn’t necessary. And the stations are smaller and less crowded than airports.
The view out the window is also incredible. It’s interesting to see how the terrain changes as we head further south.
The next leg of my Amtrak experience will be along the coast. But my plans right now are all about exploring the Sacramento area.