Sunday, September 30, 2012

Reunion, Part 3

The Golden Girls reunion continued with more eating, drinking, gabbing, and sight-seeing.

 On the third evening, we again enjoyed Mel's company along with bar food and a couple of bottles of wine carried back to our rooms. Feeling more comfortable with each other, our conversation drifted to more controversial topics (I mean politics) and although we did not necessarily agree, we navigated those tricky waters with grace and respect.
The Skunk Train travels from Fort Bragg half-way to Willits where passengers disembark for a barbecue lunch in a redwood grove while the train turns around and returns to Fort Bragg (after the passengers have re-embarked, of course). We enjoyed the trip to sunny weather through glorious old-growth redwood forests. The train travels through territory inaccessible by road, so it is serene and isolated. Several cabins are situated along the route, built around 75 years ago on leased land. These cabins cannot be sold, but can be inherited and so they remain family retreats for a select few families. They can be reached only by the Skunk Train, and all supplies must come in by train. They have propane, but no generators. I don't know if they have wells and septic, or if its outhouses and imported water. Seems appealing to me as a perfect writer's retreat.

 We ran into a fellow train traveler later in the day when we walked around MacKerricher State Park and he accommodated us by taking this group photo.
 The last morning we returned to the scene of our first meal at Little River Inn and enjoyed breakfast and our last meal together before departing. We said a reluctant good-bye to Janet and talked about planning the next reunion, closer to Marilyn so that she can comfortably join us.
 We made our way south once again driving through the redwoods and the Anderson Valley, turning further inland to Clear Lake, a lunch stop in Williams and then over to Interstate 5 and the Sacramento airport where Linda and I said good-bye to Merle.
Jack met Linda at the car rental agency and Valery picked me up. We returned to her house and the next phase of my many-fold reunions began.

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