Day 4 on the train!
By now being on the train actually just feels normal. It is crazy to think that in a couple of hours we will be in Sacramento. When planning this trip, it seemed like it would be a much longer journey than it actually has been feeling.
Between Nevada and California, there was a lot of desert. I actually really like the desert. This area also reminded me of Israel, like the way going down to the Negev. I really just wanted to see a camel or ibex on the side of the road, but that obviously did not happen, as they do not live in this area.
As we entered California, there was much more greenery. But one could also see some of the burnt trees from some of the fires (I don’t think from any of the very big ones). It was very sad to see so many trees down.
This was also one of the areas that there was a tour by a parks and recreation person. The tour guide is a volunteer position. They both work at the Sacramento train museum, and do the ride about once a month (going back and forth). The main guy that we spoke to started do this because he loves trains. He has model trains at home, and so this is his dream job. In addition to working at the museum he also is a waiter.
He told us that all the work on the trains at the museum are done by volunteers. Not just taking tickets, but also the people who fix the engines and do rail maintenance. It is quite amazing that they are able to work that way and still be under federal regulation. Also the fact that people are willing to volunteer their time to help the trains is pretty interesting.
In Reno one of the people of the group leaves, and we all say good bye.Then came Sacramento and two more of us left as well. It is funny to think that a group of people can just meet randomly and become friends.
We had 9 hours in Sacramento. Sacramento is actually a really boring and quiet city. There is Old Town (which is very near the train station), and it is a touristy old town. There wasn’t much to do if you didn’t want to spend a lot of money.
I was walking around with the guy I met on the train, and we went to the Capital Building. We even went on a tour, which was actually fun (it was also nice to be inside in the air conditioning). We learned about the history of the building (that it was modeled after the White House). Or that when it was renovated and the artists redid it, they were told they couldn’t sign their names, so hidden around the building are signatures (both of their names and some inappropriate figures…). They also hold a picture of George Washington that should be in the Smithsonian, but the State of California was gifted it (way back when) so they would not want to secede from the US.
Around the Capitol Building are orange trees. My friend decided to climb into one to pick some oranges – they were all pretty dry on the inside and gross.
After we walked around a bit and went food shopping. My friend learned to check for Kosher symbols which was actually very nice and not necessary. For some reason the grocery store we went to had matzah- but in the organic section. And then Osem Kosher for Passover muffin mix, in the muffin mix section–that was just so weird and sad.
The main takeaway I have from Sacramento is that they do memorials really well.
They are very meaningful and thoughtful. My favorite was the lost solider memorial, while opposite it was a woman and child crying, and saying under them that they too sacrificed.
Sacramento was also the first time in a while that I was in a town that I did not know anyone. Although friend’s of mine put me in touch with some people, in the end it did not work out for me to meet them (or shower). It is pretty amazing that even when I don’t know anyone somewhere, I can find some people who are more than willing to help me.
After walking around, having a picnic dinner by the water, it was time to get back on the train for the last part of the journey!
States Visited: Nevada, California