Eastern Washington State

Wednesday morning, 4am.

I’m awake. We’re sitting in a siding waiting to meet a freight train coming toward us.

We’ve been here awhile.

It’s just one sleeper car, two coaches and the lounge car behind an engine. A dinky little train in the huge Washington savannah. If I could see us, we’d look lost.

Best sleep yet last night. I had several vivid dreams, and feel more rested. None of us have seat mates (unless you brought one with you).

I’m sitting in the empty lounge car, staring into the dark, my dimly illuminated ghost stares back. I see a few trucks zipping along the distant horizon, and at the top of my picture window half a gauzy moon breaks cloud cover.

A couple hours later, we’ve gone a few miles and are in another siding. The clouds are glowing in the east and my ghost left with the morning light. 

A trucker talked my ear off for an hour before sunrise. When he came ’round to devine destiny and spreading the gospel I realized the only way out of the conversation was to simply leave.

Cowboy is awake, acting perky. Got himself some coffee, navigating the stairs to the lounge car by himself. I gave him a fruit bar and will leave him alone since he seems able to do for himself.

Beginning to make the transition to Oregon living. A lot of bearded country boys, doing country jobs.

8am. Moved to the next siding, and sitting again. Freight train in front of us has a mechanical. 

Four strangers gathered in the lounge, all men, start gossiping about the cause of the delay. Maybe our train is broken and they’re lying to us. Yeah, cause something went wrong yesterday, so that must be what’s happening now. And we stayed in Spokane so long…

I couldn’t take it. I interrupted. Yesterdays problem was minor and we don’t have that problem. The signals are red. We’re waiting for clear track. We left Spokane on schedule.

Bored men stir up shit. The human condition.

I went back to my seat, and am listening to music on the laptop. “One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble…” 

Three nights on a train makes a hard man edgy.


Started to roll at 9am.


Pasco, WA in about thirty miles.

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