Thursday, January 25, 2007

Amtrak tales

I had the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association this past weekend in Seattle. I took advantage of crossing the country on the company nickel so to speak to go a few days early and visit my brother and his family who live outside of Portland, OR. So I flew into Seattle and took the train south.

Everything was moving along smoothly until the moment arrived. I was reading the Philosophical Strangler by Eric Flint, an amusing book that I can recommend to those of you with slightly bent senses of humor, with my headphones on when I noticed to two high school age girls sitting across the aisle from me jump up and stare at something out of the window. This attracted my attention. Almost immediately the conductor came on the intercom and informed us that the train had just hit a car and we would have to stop while the crew checked for damage. So there we sat for about an hour and half waiting. It turns out that after the serious snow storm that had hit the Pacific Northwest a few day earlier some black ice had developed on the railroad crossing which had caused a car to become stuck. The people had all abandoned said car prior to the train coming along and smiting it.

While this delay almost doubled my travel time, it did leave me with this not so interesting tale to tell.


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