This page is the first of two parts on Amtrak from LA to Seattle. This month's focus is on the California portion of the trip. There are also a few shots taken elsewhere. Of course there is also the traditional content including two poems, A Concert and My Cane and I.
Disclaimer: Because most of the shots were taken though a window as the train traveled at 60+ mph, they are not up to my usual standards. You will also notice at times a purple tint due to light refraction through the window. However, I hope you enjoy the flavor of the trip.
Our home for 36 hours. We paid a bit more to have a roomette to stretch out for the night.
Opening Comments from Bob
This Page: Your pictorial travel takes you on an Amtrak trip, traveling along the coast from LA to Seattle. Gorgeous scenery and excellent food! I encourage you if you can afford it to upgrade to a roomette, more comfortable and privacy to sleep. This is the first of a two part series, the California portion. The first poem has me reminiscing about my first concert to see Air Supply and the second includes a poetical video entitled My Cane and I. The vignette discusses perceptions.
A portion view from the air of the Great Salt Lake–headed LA for the start of our Amtrak journey.
LA at night! First time I have flown there at night. Unbelievable, the lights seem to go on forever.
From Santa Barbara for about two hours you travel along the coast. You want to sit on the port side if you can.
Otherwise, you miss the ocean views.
Two Poems this Month
Last night, a concert by Air Supply reminded one that life is change, yet it is not.
Two men performed no longer the youths of 45 years ago.
Wrinkles and old age obvious on their faces.
Yet, their voices now mature touched all with the joy that poured from their souls.
The crowd, young and old, moved and swayed to the beat, forgetting the decades that passed.
Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock were again young, their hearts reaching out to all who would listen.
Yes, life is change, but it is not.
Comments: (See my note under the picture.) The concert was held in a huge auditorium in the small village of Kamas about 15 miles away. I could hardly believe such a venue existed in this small community.
My Cane and I
Strolling along, my cane and I.
To tell you the truth, it is not as wondrous as walking arm in arm with a long-legged beauty.
Alas, those days have passed.
Yet there is elegance and flow as I swing and thrust performing Yang 24.
Who would have imagined thirty years ago that this symbol of age and fragility would become a dance partner keeping me strong and supple.
I spring forth in brush knee and strike as White Crane Spreads its wings.
Should a villain decide to attack this gentle old man, my cane and I may have a surprise or two.
But my intentions are not of dastardly deeds but to spread the message that a lowly cane can open options beyond one’s wildest dreams.
Comments: (Yang 24 is a popular tai chi form.) The vignette below speaks more on the topic. I recently returned to Ohio for a tai chi cane workshop held by Senior Trainer James O'Brien. Below you see a portion of the cane form performed by Jim along with with the poem narration.
We went to the Air Supply concert in Kamas. The first such concert I have ever attended. What fun and an eye opener! The poem to the left describes the experience.
On a trip back to Ohio my three sisters, brother-in-law, and I spread my mother's ashes. Mom passed at 95 in January. As a family we rejoiced in her life and spoke of our wondrous childhood. One could not of asked for better parents. Yes,we are smiling!
Enjoying the roomette on our train from LA to Seattle.
Comment: Obviously, you can see that this tai chi form is for individuals who do not have mobility issues. HOWEVER, one of the benefits of this form, it can be modified for those who are dependent on a cane. The cane as a weapon evolved in China centuries ago when the emperor banned all weapons. The martial artists of the day turned it into a fighting weapon, sometimes concealing a knife or sword within the hollowed out cane.
In case you have problems opening the the link, here is the YouTube link.
Unless otherwise noted, the pictures were taken as we traveled north through California.
This Month's Vignette
My Cane and I
As mentioned in the poem and comments above, I attended a workshop on learning an original cane form developed by James O'Brien, using similar moves from the world's most popular tai chi form, Yang 24. During my travel back to Ohio for the workshop, I carried my cane on the shuttle from the parking lot to the terminal, aboard the plane, and the return. What an eye opener and education! I never realized how differently you are viewed when others think you need a cane. (Please note, I do not need one. The cane was used as a prop in the form.) I immediately began to notice the change. When I boarded the shuttle bus from the parking lot and on the return, people immediately helped me load my luggage and allowed me to take their seats even though I was simply carrying the cane and not walking, using it. A somewhat humorous incident occurred following arrival at the Columbus airport. I was seated on a chair with my luggage and cane waiting for Jan to join me. As I was pulling off the luggage tags, I had difficulty tearing one off trying to get a better angle. Suddenly, a young woman came over and ripped it off for me. At first I was surprised and then, rather than embarrass her for her kind deed, thanked her.
Bottom line, I appreciated the kindness shown me due to my perceived disability. However, I reexamined how I often viewed individuals who use a cane or wheelchair. I also realized how I hated to be categorized though all had good intentions. I am further happy that there still remains an abundance of kindness from those willing to help.
As a side note, the workshop was spectacular, and I plan to have Jim and his wife Linda visit Utah and offer a cane workshop to my students.
Thai So Good, Park City, UT: If you enjoy Thai food, this is an excellent restaurant to dine. The lunch option is especially wonderful, priced very reasonable with superb options. The fixed price includes a salad, egg roll, rice, and two entree dishes. Definitely, large enough to share.