There is much discussion about high speed rail between Vancouver and Portland… This conversation isn’t new, been going on for years and years and there’s always more pushback, grumbling about costs and right of way, another expensive study and blah blah blah… In my mind, the existing service *could* be great if they had priority right of way on the tracks, without hindrance of landslides which are prone to some areas, and better connections from the often remote/poorly located stations to the related urban centers (looking at you Olympia).
I mean, the trains themselves are great, the route is lovely, and importantly there is Snoqualmie Falls oatmeal served in the morning, or Ivar’s clam chowder and Black Butte Porter in the afternoon…￼￼ Last time I rode anyway.
By the way, it’s no longer my challenge, request, cause or whatever as I live in Japan where train lines are abundant with all manner of service from super fast to slow locals as well as scenic treasures on olden stock.
However, I have yet to find a train in Japan which serves oatmeal so I have to get by a delicious Ekiben.
Ambient “space cruise” around generally Oslo area of Norway by boat, trains and car. That’s it. No narration, action, plot, theme or whatever, just dig the views and ride along. Sound is “as-is” aside form Ilgudin Trio (from Russia, recorded live in Ubud, Indonesia) added whilst in the car. Roll on. That’s it.
Thanks to Mathias and Harald Olson for the footage – wasn’t me).
While dispatches and re-caps of various outings and events exist elsewhere in this archive, life is so wonderful right now i don’t want to miss a thing or fail to appreciate the glorious mundane details of just existing.
As such, what follows are bits and pieces which don’t fit elsewhere, a round-up of miscellany and odds and ends and mild annotations.
Starting with the pleasantness of stopping for a coffee and receiving a free lil sandwich plate (and seeing Ryoko’s adorableness :)).
The internets instructs food photos be posted with frequency.
Ambient meditative scenes of riding the narrow gauge railway up Kurobe Gorge, one of the steepest canyons in Japan with spectacular scenery, choogling open air train and hydro-electric dam with medieval style castle (really).
Not a documentary instead documentation, just as-it-is snippets, stitched loosely to capture the feeling of the trip from Onazuki Onsen station to Keyakidaira (end of the line) station way up in the Japan Alps.
Thank goodness I’m a country boy… Back in our little home on the outskirts of a under-appreciated provincial capital after a few days in the “big city”… All the skyscrapers, swirling highways, and hectic people… Well it’s just not for me. Here we have flowers, trees, fresh air and importantly, quiet.
The good news is, got the official paperwork underway, picked up custom rings and utilized at least a dozen different means of conveyance.
Totally wiped me out but 藤田良子 (Ryoko) kept our pace slow and I didn’t try to do “too much” by rushing around to do everything in one day as a normal human would likely do. I’m hardly “normal” in all sorts of ways 🙂
We have a week till all the renegades start showing up, & 9 days til 3-days of action… still lots of little things on the list but most can be done while wearing pajamas.
So very grateful for all the kind words coming in and all sorts of different channels > You know I’ll reply to everything *eventually*, but might be eventually.
Now will rest (maybe after an episode of “Great Teacher Onizaki” (oldish tv fun & good Japanese study for me).
Included a neat train to sparkle up this wee missive.
After affidavit at Honorary Consulate of Canada located in the Tsuda lumber yard in an industrial port area of Osaka requiring creative transport route planning including various non-JR trains and the “New Tram” (which is no longer new but i suppose “tram” by itself isn’t much of a name), we hit up a hot spring spa next to a sports complex featuring a boat racing stadium – rather thunder-dome-esque – for several hours soak – indoors & out, then found an appropriate surface street bus (my preferred mode as involves less going up and down stairs/escalator/elevators to elevated rail or subways plus less general “hecticness” as I get very sensory overloaded easily) to Namba station area loaded with shopping streets, covered arcades where we bought some lovely blue hemp cloth for a tablecovering at goat farm party, as well as importantly devouring two mighty bowls of menya (noodles), along with boiled gyoza, at an impossibly tiny restaurant before heading back to hotel (where my request for extra pillow was denied) to watch an episode of Great Teacher Onizaki.
Today is picking up rings, buying various small items at Bic, Tokyu Hands, Shinseibashi then back to calm provincial town via speedy train.
This dispatch shares the logistics of getting to and fro various important locations for the wedding festivities, specifically: Munetade Shrine, Fuyahei resto and Rural Caprine Farm goat farm by party via train and taxi. Also, the general plan about what to expect, when to show up and how to dress. Plus an overview of activities to do with free time like museums (lots), hot springs, picnics, and day trips to Kurashiki (art and canals, Bizen (pottery and swords), Hiroshima (bombs), and Kyoto (everything). Plus tips on staying in communication with all your new friends – both Japanese folks and the other international renegades.