e_moon60 (e_moon60) wrote,

Travel, books, trains, woods, dogs

I left St. Louis on Monday morning, for Chicago, and had a lovely trip on the train up, though the train was a bit late arriving in St. Louis.  The reason was tracks washed out in San Antonio, Texas, where that train originates...severe storms, and it took Amtrak a few hours to find buses to haul the passengers by road up to Fort Worth, where they had enough rolling stock to put together a train...they were hours late leaving Fort Worth and less than an hour late coming into St. Louis, so they'd really boogied. 

Comparing this to the total lack of interest in getting us there on time expressed by multiple airlines when I've been stranded here or there...I was impressed. 

Chicago...well, I spent some time in the Metropolitan Lounge, and some time wandering the train station, including its lovely great hall which deserves to be properly painted in something other than pale ochre, and some time wishing we could board even earlier than sleeper passengers could board.  Chatted with some other passengers, handed out some business cards--the new ones for the new book--to people who seemed interested.  The trip from Chicago to Syracuse proved that while the Texas Eagle could make freight trains move over and let it past at full speed, the freights in the northeast must have more clout, because we slowed down again and again.  Once it was daylight I didn't mind: the trees were in all stages from starting to turn to bare-branches.   Beautiful woods, beautiful fields and farms, etc.  

At Syracuse, I spent a long time on the very uncomfortable metal chairs in that train station, some of it watching a red-eared slider in a little decorative pond that takes the drainage from the rail embankment.  It moved a whole foot in six hours.   Then Karen picked me up after work, and we were off to Oswego.  In my short time in Oswego I've had several lovely walks in the fall woods with their dog Tucker, who is a big, bouncy, 10 month old Golden Retriever.  Maples...purple asters...very attractive poison ivy...birds I could hear but not see.  We visited the Rice Creek field station of SUNY Oswego twice, and I got to meet the new director, a desert ecologist from Mexico.   We talked restoration and the effect of climate change on management of lands therefore, etc.  Tomorrow I'm being the guest lecturer for several classes at the school where Karen teaches, then getting on the train again for the trip to NYC,  where I'll be from Friday night through Wednesday.  Thursday I catch that train back to Chicago, visit friends overnight, then take the train down to Texas.    So I'll get to see the Hudson River valley in autumn *twice*, which has to be a good thing.

Saturday is Opera Day (Tosca) and Monday is conference with agent and Wednesday is meeting with editor, publicity, and marketing at the publisher's.   Busy week. 

Meanwhile the book has continued to get attention every day, including the crack of dawn this morning when New! Bright! Shiny! ideas appeared.  (And where were you guys three months ago, huh???)

Tags: the writing life, travel

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