Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Train 5: Winnemucca, NV

We're late through Winnemucca, Nevada. It's not somewhere I'd heard of before we stopped here, so it was with great pleasure that I stepped off the train into the cold morning air to say hello to a new place. The train had stopped at Winnemucca's station, evidently another victim of Amtrak cost cutting. Still, with only two trains a day, a glass bus shelter seems to be effective.

This is another smoking stop, so there's time to walk about and refresh the body with some natural air. The train has come to a halt on a long stretch of straight track. The small town doesn't offer much distraction, although a windowless bar is close to the station. Perhaps for those longer delays... the conductor talks motorbikes with some of the passengers, recalling his first Harley Davidson that he bought second hand from the California Police before modifying himself.

At Winnemucca we take on board a lively young man who is en route to Eureka, California. It's a long story. He bought a '93 Ford Taurus on the Ebay auction website last week. He flew to Michigan to collect the car, and drove as far as Winnemucca before the transmission failed. He's taking the train with us as far as Reno before flying via Oakland to Eureka to pick up a truck and trailer to go back and get the car. My trans-Continental journey pales into insignificance. He is, nonetheless, upbeat about his recent purchase, and has a few early morning Bloody Marys to help him calm the nerves about missing his flight in Reno.

As far as we know, he made the flight...


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