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December 20, 2010

Anything Else

Monday. This morning on the train at nine, breakfast without the papers at seven, a nice conversation with a somewhat older couple (nice to be able to say that: “older”) who were headiing up with their kids and their grandkids on a skiing holiday. Snow on the ground outside, sky overcast, but it's not snowing as we approach the Oregon border and maybe we'll get through the higher elevations without problems.

The train was late by an hour and a half last night, danger of flooding slowed it way down coming up from L.A., but so far we're on schedule. I believe. I hope. There seems to be a wireless network available, but I don't have the password. Their advertisement is it's available in the parlour car, some three cars back. I won't worry about it, but I'll ask. No internet connectivity, but I'm going to put the laptop down anyway. I'm on a train in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. And I'm thinking of working away huddled over a laptop? I'm closer than I like to think to that, but I'm not there yet. Not yet.

Later. We're still about an hour behind schedule, the delay caused not by the snow we're going through at the moment, some brief very light flurries or the snow on the ground. Pictures as we're travelling. I'll be lucky to get one out of the entire group. Very easy, when scenes you're not particularly familiar shooting are all around you and you're sitting with a camera in your lap, so you go and take pictures as if you had an eye and knew what you were doing. That's all right. You have to start.

Lunch in another fifteen minutes. I'm hungry. Looking forward to getting into Portland (at rush hour). Bummer, as I remember, rush hour in the winter.

Later still. We're down out of the mountains and the snow on the ground has turned to wet. Small old funky houses look back from some of the smaller towns we're passing, more just clusters of houses along the tracks than towns, bringing back old memories, stirring up old urges to go out and take photographs. I'm pretty much a city boy now, have been for the last forty years not counting suburban life in New York, but there's still a tug. The fir trees, the way they look, everything about them bringing back memories.

Done for the day. OK, drawing into Portland after nineteen hours on the train including the decent night's sleep. I think. Rocking slightly back and forth. The sun has popped through a couple of times, but it's still overcast. Wouldn't have thought it would be anything else.

The photograph was taken yesterday at the Oakland Holiday Parade with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.