Day 9: Tuesday 31st May 2011. It’s time to say goodbye to the Russell’s idyllic annex, Hummingbird Cottage. We’ll miss its view, the mockingbird, and miss brushing through scented rosemary on the steps. Above all, we’ll miss the exceptional Russells who introduced us comprehensively to Santa Barbara with fierce welcome and gentle pride. Here’s a movie to remind us.
We’re repacking bags to board the iconic AMTRAK train to Oakland, San Francisco, home of the legendary funk soul band, “Tower of Power”. In a perfect parallel universe we have two tickets for their local club gig this very night; meanwhile back in the real world, ToP are inconveniently taking a two month vacation. I’m in a weak position to begrudge this.
The journey by train rates among our greatest. We see mountains and wetlands, oil fields, farmland and hillsides, beach and ocean. We sit in the observation car, share a table in the diner car with the singer from Captain Dan’s Band. the day reaches its climax of cool as we sleep amidst steel, concrete and modern art in a hip city loft room in San Francisco..