I have ridden the night plains and the dawn mountains, the swamplands, the forests and the foodbowl. The white moon above has rolled along with me, rising high with the setting sun. A century of engineering made this journey possible, holding me and a thousand others steady as we stare into the green valley far below.
And in between all this rests the carved up earth, laden with cemented homes and roadways, neon signs and cluttered yards.
My home, the train.
Yesterday the woman across the aisle laughed and said ‘you’re well prepared’.
And I laughed back as I showed her my bedroom – the double seat billowing with my sleeping bag and little white train pillow; my kitchen – the hideously pink Whole Food Markets fridge bag laden with salads and salsas, apples, dates, cheese and chocolate; my office – the seriously handy stuff everything into shoulder bag containing computers, phones, chargers, notepads, pens etc.
My home, the train.
It’s been nine weeks since I left Los Angeles in the afternoon light, through Arizona into Texas, stopping in El Paso, then Houston, then on through Louisiana to N’Awlins. From there I rode north to Jackson, Mississippi, across to Atlanta, Georgia, then Savannah and on up to New York City to pay my respects to Liberty, my lady, my love. Then further north still to Boston, Massachusetts, then west to Chicago, Illinois, and over to Seattle, Washington, and the peace of Vashon Island, then south, sliding down the west coast to berth in the dark Los Angeles night.
The Pilgrim Heart Whistlestop Book Tour.
I have my favourites – New York City and Vashon Island, off the Seattle coast – my ‘well what was that fors but glad I won’t die wonderings’ – Boston, Chicago. My highlights – New York City and Vashon Island. My disappointments, not to be mentioned.
It is July 1. There are 17 days to go. There are still book tour commitments – San Francisco my remaining city light, beckoning.
And a few days to fill . . . the Grand Canyon is to my west . . .