Stepping away from the everyday, into the wild, the loudest sound is the noise in your head. As it starts to turn down, in its stead resonates the babbling of water, murmuring of branches you brush past, dialogues of birds, stuttering of stones, and the whispering of insects... A new language forms.
Portland was filled with the muted sounds of the morning hours. A fluffy grey blanket folded over the city's structures. I came upon the walled Lan Su Chinese Garden. Having already been inside, I just peered in from the outside. Its walls, permeated by beautiful leak windows, revealed secret views of the garden. The peace and tranquility of the garden seeps out and into your senses. With that calm, I approached the Burnside Bridge. Standing on it, I looked upon a cobbled road below, carved with tram tracks. Deserted on a Saturday morning, the tracks, the sole car, the departing tram, and the solitary person strolling were the picture of serenity. I continued on, looking across at the Steel Bridge. A vivid contrast of newer construction against cobbled roads and walled gardens. Soon, on the other side of the river, I found a new neighbourhood to explore...
There's a little place. A tiny place. A speck, in a dot. But, it's the best, most inspirational place. It is a place that makes you dream. It is a place where dreams you didn't know you had, take bloom. It is a place of places, and it's the most non-place you knew.
Some days, when your larynx is resting and the cars are muted, you come across a bridge. You pause. You sit. You let the gentle babbling of the water fill your senses. And, with no portend, nature transports you. That's the best kind of travel.
On December 23rd, we boarded the California Zephyr to Chicago. From Chicago, we took the Capitol Limited to DC. In a little over 3 days, we travelled the breadth of the country by train. The views afforded were breathtaking and dramatic. They were truly representative of the natural beauty that America has to offer. During the day, the hills rolled by, sometimes under a blanket of snow, sometimes dotted with snow, and other times just their naked natural self. The immense American land spread out ahead, rivers and streams cut through it sometimes frozen, sometimes flowing. The Rockies towered in all their might as the gushing Colorado river meandered along sometimes with force, other times gently. When the sun set, we were lucky to be journeying during full moon. The silver light spilled everywhere and we looked on at the hills and lands in a different hue. Glittering lights over the Great Plains and Christmas lights speckled in the distance made a travelling Christmas Eve special.