First Leg: Coast Starlight to Sacramento

Sketch of train depot

Sacramento 6:30 a.m.

I am writing from Ingolstadt, Germany, safely arrived with our dear friends Ursula and Markus and Baby Simon.  But I want to record the journey in order, so stepping back a few days to put first things first. 

The first “leg” of our journey was Albany to Sacramento on the Amtrak Coast Starlight. I love train travel! We arrived at the Sacramento depot at 6:00 a.m., where we waited for Corey to pick us up. The architecture is elegant simplicity, curves and arches, marble and stones, with a huge mural from the WPA project era at one end. The fittings have endured – wooden benches, wrought iron chandeliers, cast iron door handles. Decoration celebrates every detail without being fussy. Why is it we can no longer put together such pleasing, enduring projects to keep artisans employed? Surely we can… Dear Congress – think WPA!

Even early as it was, the train coffee was strong, so I drank enough of it to be able to focus and sketch. I tried to convey the incongruity of the architecture as a backdrop for the garish plastic signage advertising the new do-it-yourself ticket machine, so out of place at such an early hour…

 

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