Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Captain Bill Still Moving

I guess I missed this in yesterday's e-mail download. Here's Bill's latest report.

Well, here I am zipping along at track speed (about 84 mph) about 2 hours out, headed for Chicago on Amtrak's Texas Eagle--and NO SNOW!  I'm greatly disappointed.  We have been in a cold, constant drizzle since leaving Los Angeles on Friday.  That drizzle turned briefly into huge snowflakes somewhere in eastern New Mexico on Saturday for about an hour--and it was fun while it lasted.  I loved it!  It's always fun to watch a snowstorm from a warm comfy lounge chair in the Observation car of an Amtrak train!  You get all the visuals without that freezing your tush effect.

As I sat there watching huge snowflakes whiz by at 80 mph I couldn't help wonder how those bIg flakes would have looked plastered to the visor of my helmet.  I  guess it's a blessing that the clutch broke on the Pacific Coast Highway.  That mechanical failure obviously saved me the embarrassment of wimping-out later, just because of days of cold drizzle and and snow.  This way I can preserve what little may be left, at this point, of my macho-biker image.

I had several interesting conversations with strangers in Union Station, Los Angeles.  It seems bikers have "biker radar" that sounds off when they see someone traveling with ahelmet bag over their shoulder.  They also can pick out a guy who is carrying motorcycle saddle bags, trying to make it all look like "normal" luggage.  It doesn't seem to matter whether it's a Harley guy, or a dirt bike guy, or a 180 mph rice-burner guy, or an airhead beemer guy, or whatever, they gotta start a whole story.  It's really ok though,  I actually am enjoying it.  On the road, when passing a bike going the other way, I noticed there was always a hand momentarily raised up off the handlebar in recognition as we passed.  Sometimes just one or two gloved fingers pushed out--very subtle--but much appreciated--a nice feeling.  How often does that happen amongst cage pilots?   (Sorry, make that car drivers.)  
I'm having almost no luck finding WiFi that I can jump onto.  Amtrak trains don't have it, and the stations don't have it.  When the train stops in a station, I can sometimes get one of the neighbor's signals long enough to at least send the mail.  

Anyway--couldn't send this so here's an update.  Christmas day 9 pm and I'm now aboard the Capitol Limited out of Chicago headed for Washington, DC and still no snow.  This Superliner Coach is a later model with electric outlets at every seat--but still no WiFi.  Why go from San Antonio Texas to Chicago and Washington just to get to Miami?  They say that some bridges are still out east of New Orleans thanks to Katrina, so Amtrak can't go that way yet.  

More to come.
Bill Brice
Key West

He's due into Ft. Lauderdale later today (Wednesday). Depending on what time the train arrives, he'll be back into KW late tonight, or tomorrow.

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