Oregon::part 3

I’m back with the final post about Oregon. Our trip back turned out quite differently than we planned, which is part of the reason this post was so long in coming.

Monday morning we went out searching for poppy fields. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get pictures of poppy fields because we couldn’t find them. The farmers must have hidden them well this year.

Our train was scheduled to leave at 1:40, and we arrived at the station in plenty of time to check in. We left right on schedule and headed east. We both missed most of the scenery that day because we were catching up on sleep. Besides watching the police pull a suitcase off the train and check it with their dog, our trip was pretty uneventful.

I first realized we were running late when a woman got on complaining about having to wait for four hours. That was the beginning of the adventure. Soon we were twelve hours late. And it just kept getting worse. It seems that whenever freight traffic needs the rail, we had to get off. After Fargo, freight traffic increased due to the amount of oil traveling out of the town. About the time we were supposed to get to Chicago–3:30 p.m. on Thursday–we realized we’d definitely be spending another night on the train. (Carlene, the blanket you sent along was  lifesaver!) I’d had hopes that we could still catch our train to Elkhart, but by then I knew for sure that we would not.

We were rudely awakened at 4:30 by one of the parents of a couple sitting in front of us. We had unpleasant experiences with elderly travelers conversing loudly at 4:30 both coming and going. This time, however, we heard all about the events of the past week rather than listening to the wonders of jelly made of dried apricots. Did I mention before that train travel is a lesson in patience and grace?

Our trip ended not by train, but by car. I had a wedding to shoot on Friday that involved six hours of travel and the earliest train wouldn’t get us home until 5:00 pm Thursday. Thankfully my mom took pity on us and drove a few hours to pick us up in Chicago. We got home almost exactly three days after leaving Oregon. Instead of 48 hours on the train, we lived on it for 66 hours!

Probably the most frequent question I’m asked is: “Would you do it again?” The answer is, yes. I would. It ended differently than we planned and it was stressful to have to rethink our schedule and modes of travel. But neither one of us had to drive, we could watch scenery go past very slowly :), and we got to interact with people we wouldn’t have met traveling via car or plane. Yes, I’d do it again, but I’d allow myself an extra day. Just in case.

And lest you came back to see pictures, and would cut us off forever if we had failed you, here you go.

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I’m one of those people who enjoys collecting little things from my travels, but never knows what to do with them once I’m home. After finding my owl stone and a twig, I decided a mobile would be a fun way to present my Oregon coast souvenirs.

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The blue shells are my favorite. I’m never sure which side of the shell I like best!

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Introducing the owl rock. It takes a little imagination from this angle, but he was lying there staring up at me as owlishly as possible!

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And that’s that. Current projects include a leather bound photo book of a vintage photo shoot and a map for a friend getting married in a few weeks.

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