No Fenders Scribe Tomaso flashes the Peace sign
after going for an enjoyable romp around the North 40 in Dave’s 1974 VW
Campervan Bus! (The Tomaso Collection)
As No Hut-Hut Omaha Jokes Here! Pass me the biscuits
the aroma of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and don’t forget the
with Thanksgiving commencing today, and everybody ensconced in the day’s litany
‘O Pigskin games. What better time to roll out another non related No Fenders
racing story. Droning on in two part Harmony instead about my latest travel
adventure, utilizing automobiles, busses and trains to go celebrate my birthday
with Tacoma Bureau Chief Mary Ellen and Hang 10’ Hilo!
here’s what I scribbled upon returning home regarding my southwards journey,
i.e.; leg-two’s return trip to Oregon.
the day by having Claudio waking me up at 4:30AM, when going outside to look at
the Stars; notably the “Seven Sisters”, formally known as Pleiades. Then the
Alarm went off obnoxiously at 6AM. Finished packing and having breakfast at
for Train station at 7AM (30mins drive) with Claudio having me Checked in and
seated in the waiting area approx. at 7:35AM.
& I chatted about worldly things, along with hearing some Farmers discuss
their $1.5m (Million) John Deere tractors and setting up it’s GPS grid system
to farm automatically. Before Claudio took me outside to the station’s platform
to prepare for boarding my 8:08AM No. 503 Cascades Express to Eugene Train
station, arriving at 1:50PM.
the same station agent that had checked me in assisted me onboards, failing to
tell me to watch my head when entering my seat. As Wham! I suddenly (lightly)
smacked my noggin’ upon the overhead cargo bin, with the female Amtrak agent
apologizing profusely! As I could hear Her apologizing All the way off the
train, as I said No Woories…
good news was that I was seated directly behind the car’s bathroom. But the bad
news was that I was seated directly behind the car’s bathroom! And that I’d
spend nearly the next six hours getting to hear everybody Slamming the door
open ‘n closed, Urgh! Not to mention hearing the door connecting to the next
railway car open and close.
I’d tell Claudio later that either we didn’t stop at Kelso/Longview on the way
south or that I’d completely slept thru it? To which He replied sleeping thru
Kelso’s a good thing…
this made it fairly easy to discern when the bathroom wasn’t occupied, before I
finally made a beeline for it. Making sure to Duck my Head when exiting&
one of Amtrak’s “newer” trains, these car’s bathrooms utilize “pocket” doors
that slide back ‘n forth into a recessed slot, for which I had no problems
pulling closed. And even figured out how to lock the door. But when I was
finished, originally I could only get the door to retract about three-four
inches before it wouldn’t move any further, WTF? Trying to open it multiple
times before I figured out why everybody was slamming the door! Since I needed
to go to the door’s opposite end and push it slightly inwards to make it
retract past it’s sticking point. Which presumably was to keep the door
retracted when not in use.
just before arriving in Eugene I got up a second time and managed to begin
opening the door on somebody who hadn’t locked it! Before I retreated to my
seat and waited a few more minutes before the coast was clear!
you may wonder why I’ve described the act of using the bathroom on a train, Eh?
But if you’re Blind like Mwah, then this is always an interesting proposition!
Since doubtfully Y’all have never considered how two public bathrooms, be it
train, airplane, restaurant, rest stop, public building, etc. Are ever of the
the most mundane tasks of daily life very interesting, from simply finding the
door’s locking mechanism, the toilet, sink, soap and hand drying methods, i.e.;
paper towels vs. hand drier. Not to mention if the sink’s water taps and soap
dispenser are manually or electronically activated by sensors?
a super informative and helpful female Conductor had helped me off the train,
we were met by super Cool & friendly
Amtrak Station attendant Scott! Who politely escorted me inside the
train station after corralling my “checked” suitcase, before parking me on a
bench directly across from His station alcove. Saying He’d make Himself a note
to come and retrieve me in 75mins to escort me to my bus.
to His word, Scott approached me some three minutes early, and I didn’t even
need my sign saying Florence. With Scott saying that the Bus driver would let
us board early. As I mounted the bus’s four steps with Scott carrying my
suitcase onboard for Mwah, helping me find a seat and placing my suitcase next
to me, Eureka! As I was safely aboard my lone afternoon’s 3:30PM departure to
Bumfiddle’ Florence ten minutes early!
stopping in Venita and Mapleton, we arrived at Florence’s Three Rivers Casino
between 5-5:10PM, which was pretty fast for Rush Hour traffic. Before calling
our local Taxi service, who picked me up immediately.
I walked in the front door after the friendly cab driver Dennis asked me if I
could navigate my Zig Zag walkway when exiting the cab in my driveway, between 5:20-25PM.
everybody I’ve told about this outing says I was quite adventurous, since as I
mentioned previously. This was the first time I attempted getting to Eugene on my
own. Making my connections with thankfully assistance from the bus drivers and
Amtrak station and train personnel. As what’s that ‘Ol saying about it takes a
Going North I had the assistance of six people:
Cab Driver, Bus Driver, Train Station Attendant and three other train
Going Home, (South) I had another five people
assist me: Two Train Station Attendants and one train Conductor, plus Bus &
Cab driver. With both of these trips taking approximately ten hours, Aye
Which being Blind, have I mentioned that lately
Y’all? Without All of this great assistance, I couldn’t have done this “Solo!”
As the only two Problemas were on the way home,
when the train station agent didn’t tell me to Duck when choosing my seat on
the car and smacking my Head against the overhead luggage rack!
And then being so exhausted;extremely Pickled
from being up for some 13hrs, I somehow managed to drop the three dollars
change the Cab driver handed me when getting out in my driveway. Which I’ll
gladly take those two items being my only issues traveling! Or at least I
thought so, even though I totally remembered the cab driver handing me my
Thus for Humour, I vainly attempted going out
to my driveway Friday morning when waiting for another cab, sweeping my White
cane feebly around the driveway in Hope of somehow miraculously finding three
dollars on the pavement, Hya!
As it just really bothered me for making a
silly mistake like that! But overall it was a Great trip and the major issues
of making my connections went smoothly! Meaning I can do it again in the
And then nearly a week later, Eureka! Wednesday afternoon, when I was searching the No Fenders “Office’s” floor around my desk where I pile my mail for another missing item. Arse-suming it was on the floor. On the desk’s left side I found three folded one dollar bills, Viola! Ergo the missing three Smackeroos! Which must have fallen out when removing my train’s E-ticket & Claim check from my pocket…