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30 March 2009 @ 11:08 am
vibrations  
I think the new neighbors must be new to California as well as the house, one of them came out of the house and announced in distress "The ground is not supposed to move!"

Went trainriding yesterday with katchoo_too, tnalpgge, crobderg, si_anenome and family. It's the Niles Canyon railroad, run entirely by volunteers, on the route of the original Transcontinental railroad. Though not on the old tracks -- those were torn up for scrap years ago, so the volunteers laid new track, and apparently are laying more for an extension. I imagined a conversation with their 19th century equivalents, the chinese workers and the like practically enslaved to build the rails: "You lay track for FUN?" Those are some hardworking folk, and they run a fine railway.

It's a lovely ride, with the poppies, lupine and wild mustard out on the canyon, and on the way back we were pulled by a steam locomotive. It's strange -- I've ridden quite a few trains in my life, nearly all diesel, but the moment it started up, with that puff-puff sound, I said "that's what a train is!". Yes, I know, movies, but I haven't actually watched that many movies with steam trains in. And the diesel's horn is but a pale imitation of a true steam whistle echoing from the hillsides. I definitely recommend it; apparently they run special wine-tasting and wildflower viewing trains too.

Alameda Creek is frighteningly low, considering it is spring. As we passed over one bridge, I watched a pair of ducks, who would paddle for a foot or so, and then have to waddle through too-shallow water to get to the next pool deep enough to paddle. It's going to be a hard, hard summer.