Travelling Day 4 – SF to Portland, Or. Day 5 a little bit of work

>Howdy, All travelling pics really from yesterday and just a few from making some samples for the talk I give on Wednesday. Most of the day around the house.

Picture slideshow is at the bottom of this post

But the travel pics look a bit boring in retrospect, but that doesn’t mean the view was at all boring.

The big thing was waking up while it was still dark to see the silhouettes of big conifers – maybe douglas fir and also the quite sudden variation in trees from one area to another. I don’t think it is all because they were chopped down!

I am really glad I travelled by train rather than flying – even though I am pretty tired again. Gave me a strong feeling for how small and how far flung some of the towns are.

There were plenty of farms with a paddock full of defunct cars from the Model T right through to Studebakers from the 70s. What do you do with an old car in a country town?

Also the size and speed of the rivers is boggling – considering we were well inland. These huge rivers were not messing around but flowing fast.

The AMTRAK system still has dining cars, but not quite the high class dining experience I was imagining, though the lunch was both acceptably cheap and tasty enough (And there was a vego option). But was fun sitting with two other people I have never met and having a bit of conversation.

One was coming back from dropping her husband and son on a week long cycling expedition. She followed them last year, but this year she decided to catch the train home and she will catch it back down to pick them up again. I think she was having quite a nice time doing what she wanted.

The elderly man at the table wanted to cut straight to the dessert menu, but the waiter told him firmly that he had to order a main first. He grumbled cheerfully about it for the next 10 mins. He was great as he had lived in the area we were passing through and he knew the names of the towns etc.

As we sat there we listened to the other conversations and found that the train was getting bigger by the moment.

I knew it had a cafe car and a dining car, but soon we added a cinema car, a parlour and an observation car. I wondered aloud if they had an aquarium too.

My lunch companions smiled politely. My instinct for the right tip is starting to match up with other people which is good. I was working out how much those waiters made it tips …. the jobs on the railway must be quite sought after. Lets see … chairs for 40 (but only half full) but about 5 seatings and average tip of around $2 to $3. The bottom end of this would work out about $200 per meal. Not bad at all.

The staff are quite firm in dealing with the customers too – it would be considered quite rude by OZ standards, but here it has the right context and balance. I have found myself ignored a number of times because I have not been noisy or quick enough to catch a waiter … they are not really ignoring me … more that they really don’t see my mouselike behaviour.

Anyway … I won’t put many pics up on this forum today as I think they are a bit duller in some ways … but I like them – photography was really difficult, but there was a strong feeling the way to represent the landscape in art was to knit it in wool.

I often have the same feeling travelling around OZ, so might be fetishistic thinking .. or maybe it is true too.

Finally got to the very elegant Portland Railway station that my friend David says is one of his favourite buildings in Portland.

This is David at home with the First Storer Boat built in the USA about 7 years ago (he can’t decide just how long!)

We also went to his workshop. Couple of lath and lashed kayak frames.

And today we started making some samples for people in the classes to break. Possibly some of the worst filleting I have done in my life.

Have a deadly version of hay fever … hope I have a voice for the talk!!!

Here is the train trip

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