Let's see...what was the coyote saying? True love. Something like that.
They checked out, took the Clipper back to Seattle, and checked into a 7th floor room at the Inn At The Market just in time to get out of a rather blustery rainstorm that was whipping buildings and city streets. The view of the Puget Sound from the suite was very dramatic. There were 40 mile per hour winds and it rained hard for two days...
...but the wanderers hoofed it all over town and shopped for tasty edibles at Pike's Market.
Pears, bananas, strawberries, Kashi and yogurt sure make a delectable breakfast! Such fun shopping in stalls like these!
However, this was Teddy's favorite store!
Seafood? They saw food everywhere!
Departure time finally arrived. They grabbed a cab for the train station but had to wait thirty minutes for the train to arrive. Someone behind a counter said the stewards were late to work due to rain. There's an excuse a coyote never used! Was there humor implied in this station sign?
Two days earlier, two freight trains had collided near Kelso, Washington, closing tracks and strewing freight cars like leaves in the wind. The travelers rolled past the wreckage that morning, the first train allowed to pass since the derailment. Gave them something serious to think about. Oh well...Teddy and Tinker sure loved the view from the train while they had one...
The next morning they arose to discover that the train would be unloading its passengers in Oakland due to another freight train wreck and derailment somewhere near Salinas. Passengers heading for points between Oakland and Santa Barbara were bussed down the coast. Oh joy!
The rest of the travelers, going to Los Angeles and points south, were herded onto train 714, the inland route for Modesto, Merced and Bakersfield. But, again the finger of fate pointed at the tracks and the train was halted in Merced . There was a burning train trestle somewhere ahead. Four bus loads of travelers were sent down highway 99 toward Bakersfield, a ride that wasn't unpleasant, though there was little to recommend regarding scenic views. Three hours later the busses stopped in Bakersfield. Passengers were allowed 45 minutes to grab 'dinner' from a handful of those ubiquitous fast food joints that dominate the diets of middle America. Back on the highway, the following scribble fell out of the coyote's head.
the illusion is greatest.
Headlights of approaching vehicles,
and taillights of those ahead
create the impression
that they're disembodied.
Floating ribbons of white and red lights
perform a cryptic ballet,
weave in and out,
seem to follow a pattern,
but shifting sequences
suggest ethereal fractals.
Images merge and part,
reflect in large bus windows
at each side of my seat.
The diesel hum adds to the play.
Head back against seat,
I succumb to the harmless diversion
of lights and vibration.
A virtual moving organism.
Trucks of every size,
from countless locations,
appear joined bumper to bumper
in an undulating Lambada.
Amber, white and red running-lights
line trailer tops for as far as I can see.
Thousands of trucks roll past this night,
thousands proceed me,
moving cargos to ordained destinations,
the twenty-first century body of business,
red corpuscles in the circulatory system
of western world commerce.
the illusion is greatest.
Two hours later the quartet arrived at the old Los Angeles train terminal, only to face another 2-1/2 hour wait. AmTrack had just sent a departing train down the tracks, knowing full well that four bus loads of people were arriving in less than ten minutes. "We can't hold up our schedules for late arrivals," said an agent. Interesting position after what was so recently experienced.
The travelers got home at one in the morning, tired but grateful for lives and each other. What else is there? Not much.
Now the Princess and the coyote have their heads together...exploring new train routes and making plans. Teddy and Tinker? They've been rather occupied with other interests...