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The same storm that burst into the baggage car in front of me on the Amtrak Southern Chieftain and soaked half of my stuff (add your own version of gnashing and wailing here) washed the sky clean in the city of Angels and reminded me and everyone else who lives here why people moved here in the first place. On the train, the morning dawned wet and cloud-masked. But like the smoke of Mordor it all shortly blew away, leaving behind billowy puffs of cotton on a field of damask blue, and a confectioner’s dusting of snow on the deep green mountaintops. The wintry trees of Arizona were gone, replaced by an endless variety of greenery, from palms to plane trees to madrone and coast live oaks. The charming harlot that is the goddess Califia, dressed in her sunday best, is and endless feast for the senses.
One last jot of railroad coffee (not the best but way above average) and I was off to baggage, where the soggy clothing and books were discovered. I filed a claim while Robin waited patiently, and we sailed off on the Sunday-empty streets and out Hwy. 101 to Thousand Oaks.
After assessing the state of the luggage, the good news is, nothing in the clothing line appears to be hurt, and the books that were damaged didn’t include any textbooks, thank heavens. However, among the small casualties, there may have been one large one — my digital recorder was surrounded by wet stuff for an extended period and while it wasn’t actually submerged, it took on a good deal of damp. It’s still on the balcony in the sun, and I’m typing with my fingers crossed.