Day 24 - Coast Starlight Train - July 6, 2015

Langley Middle School in the Early Hours

Since last summer, I've been looking forward to going back on tour and seeing the rest of the U.S. Pacific coast. Charlie, Rocco Gianni and I started talking about it early last fall. Time moves quickly. Our journey is underway. 

This morning started at 3:00 AM. I packed up the bike the evening before so I could get out quickly in the early hours. It was one moonlight mile after another on the South Whidbey backroads. I left my home in the Goss Lake community, pedaled toward Langley, took Wilkinson road and made the 5:10 ferry boat bound for Mukilteo. Charlie and Rocco were on the 5:30 ferry.

Clove Hitch

We got a little crossed up catching the Sounder train to King Street Station in Seattle. Charlie arrived in plenty of time to get on. Rocco was at the back of the boat and just missed our train. He caught the next Sounder bound for Seattle and we met him there.

Sounder Situation

Once in the station, we dismantled the bikes, put them in cardboard boxes and checked them at the ticket area. We will be reunited in Emeryville. I hope that they are treated with care. 

We had plenty of time before our train departed, so Charlie suggested that we walk a short distance to Zeitgeist Coffee. Hoping to sleep on the train, I ordered a decaf coffee and a bear claw. I sat at a table with Roc and Charlie, our gear piled chair high. The 50's hits played weakly over the sound system, and I got lost staring up at the heavy post and beam construction of the former wear house. It was pleasant to relax after having accessed several forms of transportation with fully loaded bikes.


We slipped back to the train station around nine o'clock and left Seattle at 9:35, right on time. After a short chat with Roc, I investigated the entire train for sleeping places. The best I could find was the baggage car. I've used it before, but it is usually a last resort. This car was freshly mopped. Charlie and I threw out our camping pads and slept. I was down until around 5:00 PM. I woke once to hear Charlie getting hassled about his ticket. I showed mine and the conductor relaxed. I can only imagine he believed we were trying to stow away. Is there no place for the hobo in society today? I awoke one other time to find the train completely broken down. I smiled and went back to sleep. We started moving sometime in my dreams. We have been making up the lost time as we speed through Oregon. I have a real attraction to the unpredictability of this train system. I never take the arrival at my final destination for granted.

Baggage Car Zzz's

I stumbled up to the observation car, found Charlie and Rocco and listened to the life story and philosophy of Adrian, a man who served twenty-six years in the Air Force. After sitting with him for quite some time, we made our way to the dining car for dinner. After Charlie requested wine, the waiter went through the process of formally presenting a small plastic bottle of Merlot. The vintage year was 2013. I need to start honoring the insignificant. Charlie plans on stocking up at Safeway.

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