Eastbound on the Empire Builder

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Here I am in my tiny upper bunk, wakened by hail in the outside of the train car, and I can follow on the iPad exactly where we are! Aerial photos, the Mississippi rippling along there, past Little Falls, Royalton, Rice, Minnesota, have us as a pulsing blue dot, clear as anything.

joans locationThat was a brief thunderstorm but a loud one, full of lightning that lit up our compartment.

Last evening, still in North Dakota near Williston, we looked southeast at what seemed like clouds of pure gold light that picked up the fire of the sunset behind us.

Awake now and perched near our sink, I can watch the suburbs of Minneapolis speed by.

Yesterday, the road-beds were so poor they reduced speed for a while to make the ride slightly less lurchy. On a sailboat, it’s “One hand for the boat; one hand for yourself,” to avoid going overboard. Here, it’s to keep yourself from crashing into anything. But it’s seldom that it’s that rough.

Due in Chicago this afternoon; change to the Lakeshore Ltd. for overnight to Albany.


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Leaving Arriving



Yes, I hope the plants will survive.

The columbine has matured seeds for me to take to Westport.

The new part is Tom’s ability to forget and then

with reminding, re-remember.

The Little Prince. St. Ex’s Petit Prince, explained so long ago

that much of the pleasure is in anticipation. So I provide what

he is missing:

What the train trip will be like….”Oh yes!,” he says, “of course.”

And being in the new but ancient place,

above the Lake, fields like those his ancestors roamed,

we will be in our own place, new to us ,

but ancient.

Here is what we need to come back to.

But meanwhile we will be be flung abroad

and hope.