My year in cities, 2023

Finally some out of state travel!

Overnight stays in 2023:

Plus four nights in transit by train and plane. All told, I was on the road 26 nights. How ’bout that?

California Zephyr 2023

A few snaps aboard Amtrak train 5, the California Zephyr, from Chicago to Sacramento via Denver and Salt Lake City.

climbingClimbing the mountains along South Boulder Creek, Gilpin County, Colorado.

through the divideHaving crossed the Continental Divide via the Moffat Tunnel, we’re now following the Fraser River downhill to its confluence with the Colorado.

somewhere on the downslopeUhh, somewhere on the Colorado River, still in the state of Colorado. (I failed to save my GPS fix.)

basin and rangeAnd the next morning, having crossed Utah in the dark, here we are in Churchill County, Nevada, northeast of Reno.


Good food on both Amtrak trains (the Zephyr and the Capitol Limited). After three days you sort of get used to the bumpy ride. The Capitol Limited was 45 minutes late into Chicago (largely due to an automated systems failure at CSX); the Zephyr was two and a half hours late into Sacramento (late start due to two different cars that needed to be swapped out; amplified by an unplanned detour through the Union Pacific yards at Reno). Better than I expected!

Some links: 90

My year in cities, 2022

Birthday road trip and Virginia Master Naturalists conference.

Overnight stays in 2022:

Endgame: 1

Noreen Malone captures the mood of the moment:

The act of working has been stripped bare. You don’t have little outfits to put on, and lunches to go to, and coffee breaks to linger over and clients to schmooze. The office is where it shouldn’t be — at home, in our intimate spaces — and all that’s left now is the job itself, naked and alone. And a lot of people don’t like what they see.

And even closer to home:

It wasn’t just the bad sexually harassing bosses who were fired but the toxic ones, too, and soon enough we began to question the whole way power in the office worked. What started out as a hopeful moment turned depressing fast. Power structures were interrogated but rarely dismantled, a middle ground that left everyone feeling pretty bad about the ways of the world. It became harder to trust anyone who was your boss and harder to imagine wanting to become one. Covid was an accelerant, but the match was already lit.

On deck: 22

bookshelf November 2021The shelf was getting a little unbalanced, with too much fiction, but a tip from NPR’s Books We Love led me to Dreilinger. Of the Thoreau, I’ve got The Maine Woods and Cape Cod to read. The Bellotti is for a book club at work—not my usual cup of tea, but I want to contribute to the discussion. I have promised myself that I will crank through another story in the French parallel text collection; will I ever find time for the Echenoz? Juggling two volumes is too much trouble for the subway.

On deck: 21

Bookshelf August 2021With a little determination (and self-control in the bookstore), I am back to having only one shelf’s worth of books to read.

And yes, I have become the person with two cast recordings of Anyone Can Whistle, two electric hedge trimmers, and two translations of Du côté de chez Swann.