After slamming a gazillion words into my WIP the last few weeks (okay not a gazillion, but geez, it felt like it) I realized I couldn't see straight. So I took a trip up to Jackson, a quiet old-fashioned town nestled in the Sierra Nevada's, where the air smelled like pine and snow and Christmas and I let all my Nano worries fall to the mountain floor.
I found the 1897 Train Station up there, which still runs train rides during the day and a few Santa filled ones at night. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of my train, but I did manage to snap a pic of the steam train from the Back to the Future III film.
It makes its home there along with a few other steamers that are just too cool not to ghost your hands along. The three mile long trip snaked through mountain passes, between towering pines and chugged along open valley flats. The views were so beautiful...
There was even a violinist on board, serenading the passengers. He was AWESOME.
He swore he could play any Christmas song requested from memory with either his violin, the banjo strapped to his back or the harmonica in his pocket. I rattled off a few tunes, trying to get him to trip up, but he knew them all. Let me tell you, he Rocked the train and Made the trip. I wish I'd gotten video of him playing on the train, but when I got home I youtube'd him and found this:
*If you have a few minutes and appreciate blue grass, give it a look. In between the random talk, there's bouts of musical genius.
On the way back, I wandered around the train grounds a little...okay a lot...and found this sun-kissed spot...
I wish I'd brought my notebook or a better camera. This was taken with my phone and did not do nature justice. It was a beautifully chill night with the promise of snow in the air. Frosted grass crunched beneath my feet. The water was still, the thoughts flowing. But I had to move on. It was too damn cold to stay for long.
After leaving Jamestown I headed east and dropped down into Sonora. I stopped at Dorthea's Christmas Shoppe, a quaint little place just outside of town. Dorthea's has the most unique Christmas decorations EVER. You know, the handmade ones you can't find at Target or Walmart or any other big chain. I get a few ornaments there every year so that no two ornaments on our tree are the same. Makes for interesting Christmas Day talk about who likes which best, what year we bought it, how old the kids were, etc, etc. Here's the two I bought this year:
*Once again, the pictures don't do them justice. They'll sparkle right up with the Christmas lights.
On my way out of town, trying to beat the sunset, I saw this...
...and had to stop to take it all in. That tree is as red as the church.