The temperature gauge reported a pleasant 60 degrees when I left home soon after eight in the morning. With the sun struggling to break through the clouds, it was the best driving conditions I could have asked for.
Through the first two hours, the temperature slightly fluctuated--between 58 and 61--and I enjoyed the cool air rushing in through the vents.. But, when I saw the beginnings of a blue sky at a distance, I was not thrilled. Sure enough, quickly it was up to 71, and when I reached Ashland, about three hours from home, it was a bright and sunny midday at 81.
There is nothing we can do about the weather, how much ever we might complain about it. So, I did the best possible attitude adjustment I could, when I resumed the long drive to Southern California after a pleasant lunch break at the park. (Home cooked chicken with garlic, basil, and tomatoes, and cherries from the store. Yum; thank you very much!)
Over the mountain stretch, I wanted a break from driving in the 87-degree heat, and swung all the way over from the fast lane to the exit to Dunsmuir.
I drove through the main drag. It seemed like even the locals did not want to venture out in the blistering heat. A couple of tourists were dragging themselves to a cafe.
Similar to how life is full of unexpected twists and turns, even my exiting at Dunsmuir was an unplanned one.
More was to come--I turned on to a side street, which led to the rail depot. With plenty of trees on the side that provided wonderful shade. I was certain that the vehicle would appreciate being in the shade for a while; if only my car could talk to me when I drive!
As is typical of most small towns in the US, here too the rail depot had the red, white and blue all over the place. It is amazing how true the stereotypical representation of small-town America is, with the fluttering flags, pies at cafes, and with a charm about them.
The rail engineers were walking up and down the locomotives, which made me think that perhaps the freight train would leave soon. There was no way I was going to miss out on that--this was a golden intersection of my fascination for trains and my fascination for small towns.
And then it happened.
The train tooted twice, and I hurriedly got my camera into the video recording mode. Initially, it seemed like the train barely moved at all. It did. And a little bit more. The pace picked up slowly. I noticed there were three locomotives in tandem, and I was sure this would be a mighty long freight train. I started counting the wagons, and soon lost count. I put away the camera and delighted at the sights and sounds of a mile-plus long freight train going past me in a strange small town in the Siskiyous.
I didn't care much about the temperature after that, even though for most of the rest of the trip it hovered at between 98 and 100! Further, as Scarlett O'Hara said, "tomorrow is another day!"