Coming from a job where I was responsible for the life and well-being of 18 teenagers to a vacation of complete independence and unattachment is a strange thing. It’s wonderfully liberating. I have always loved traveling alone. When nobody knows you, you can present yourself however you want with no one to judge you or know better. Not that I make a habit of lying or behaving badly when I travel, but I like having the option of minor indiscretions. For instance, a woman just asked me to save her seat in the observation car while she went to lunch. I told her sure, but that was a lie. An empty seat facing the California coast is a shame.
That said, it’s wonderful to have people I know and love to see along the way. Yesterday I stayed with a friend in Pasadena, which is a charming city indeed. My friend Amy graduated a year ago with degrees in philosophy and literature (I think. Sorry if I’m wrong and you’re reading this), and she’s a magnificently thoughtful product of the liberal arts. One of the things I love most about our conversations is her persistent pursuit of articulate expression, and I’m encouraged to try harder to understand and express my own thoughts and feelings every time we talk.
We’re about to pull out of the station here at Klamath Falls, OR, and I don’t know if I’ll get wireless much longer, so I better post this fast. I’m loving the Pacific coast and meeting lots of interesting folks. This train is quite a different crowd from the Southwest Chief.