Attending to Last Minute Details.

My last day at home: Get organized, double-check everything, run a load of laundry for all the shirts I’m taking, cover some last-minute chores my “supervisor” has for me. She, in turn, gives what’s left of my hair a trim. I get these haircuts perched on a stool on our deck with this as part of my view:
That’s Haleakala — ‘House of the Sun’ — the dormant volcano dominating this island. It doesn’t look that high, but it’s 10,029 feet at the summit; this photo was taken at about 950 feet elevation.
 Tomorrow morning it’s off to the airport here on Maui for an Alaska Airlines flight to Sacramento. The plane leaves here at 10:30 in the morning and, thanks to the combination of a five hour flight and a three hour time change, I’ll get there in time for a drink and dinner with an old friend, Doug Carlson.
Doug arrived in the islands in the early 1970s and was hired as a reporter for Honolulu’s morning newspaper, the Advertiser. At the time, I was working for the Mayor of Honolulu, heading up the Information Office. On Doug’s first day covering City Hall, the mayor asked me to notify the media that there would be a press conference that morning. Unfortunately, the mayor was feuding with the Advertiser’s editor at that time and he instructed me to refuse admittance to the Advertiser reporter. And so, on his first day covering City Hall, Doug was barred from the Mayor’s press conference. By me. He and I still laugh about that and have been good friends ever since.
On Sunday, I’ll catch the California Zephyr en route to Chicago. I know I’ve written before about the marvelous scenery on the Zephyr’s route, and there’s no doubt that crossing the Sierras and the stretch between Grand Junction and Fraser in Colorado are truly spectacular. But the climb up into the Sierras from Sacramento is a really lovely part of the trip and, for me, fully as enjoyable.
I’ll try to post something tomorrow night from Sacramento and again on Tuesday from Chicago between trains.
Finally, RailwayAge has published a compendium of just about every city or state that’s adding equipment or expanding rail service. Click here for that list.