Fushan kids back in bus

California ZephyrMay 2011:
Cross-Country Reality Check



The trip begins in Emeryville, across the Bay from San Francisco. I came over the night before to catch the California Zephyr. It runs to Chicago. I was then planning to take the City of New Orleans train down to New Orleans.

It is 9 AM. I am relaxed in my economy seat which, despite the low cost, is large and comfortable. I look around at the few other passengers settling in. I note the clear weather, the day; it is a nice one. There is an indeterminate buzz in the air, like bees in a garden on a day when you don't know what you're going to do but don't care.

Then I feel a nudge. The train moves slowly out of the station.

A nudge, not a jolt. A gentle beginning. We are leaving the city behind. Gladly.

Then we are up around Richardson Bay. Blue skies, gray-green water, pilings of old piers extending into the Bay like brown rotting teeth, and Mount Tamalpais behind us and to the West. I'm up in the observation car now, where I can see all around.

It takes three days to get to Chicago on the California Zephyr, a day to New Orleans on the City of New Orleans. I am quietly excited for whatever is to come.

 I smell the flowers in the garden,
I hear the bees buzzing.
They are buzzing for me.

Mabye. I feel like I've been drinking wine.


Snow White, Blood Red