We’re sitting at the station in San Jose, the train has been delayed by about fifteen minutes. Not too much of a problem, since we’ve already run into another bike tourist and are comparing bags, bikes, and routes.


My parents dropped us off at the station, we loaded up our bags and then promptly unloaded them in a little side room to load them into bike boxes. It was a bit of a stretch to fit them in, especially Nick’s bike with its extra tall head tube. He ended up having to completely remove his handlebars, and they’re now hanging by their cables.





I’m writing this twelve hours later, after a fitful night’s sleep on the train. One thing that we overlooked in our packing strategy was that sleeping comfortably requires some form of warmth, whether through a jacket or long pants, or, ideally, a combination of the two. I’m glad I decided to pack an extra waterproof jacket at the last minute and stuffed it in a front pannier, but wish I hadn’t worn cutoff shorts. Wish that waterproof jacket had more than mesh for lining.  No jacket for Nick.
The train is theoretically more comfortable than a plane though– further reclining seats and much more leg room. Still, we tried seemingly every combination and arrangement to find comfort and woke up wanting. His head is too heavy and my shoulders unsatisfactory pillows.
Waking up periodically to look out the window at a dimly lit redwood forest, or to see the sun rising just behind a still snowcapped mountain, is pretty good though.

Ps. I got a vegan burger from the train’s snack shack for dinner and its best by date was a year from now.



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