Monday, Day 3: I feel most tourist places in America are overrated. Most disappoint me upon arrival. But what I admire is their smart marketing attitude. I wish the Indian tourism industry learnt a thing or two and used it to promote all the wonderful places that are really worth the visit. Anyhoo, so I am always seeking travel experiences beyond the usual and much-touted. So it won’t be surprising that I decided to take the ride aboard the Skunk Train. I will give anything for opportunities that allow me to commune with nature and this promised to be one, I hoped. I had booked tickets in advance for the morning ride to Willits. As we lined to board the train for a 3 hour journey through the redwood forests, a train singer entertained us. The train had four compartments; two of them were regular compartments with seats, one of them was a pantry car, and the middle compartment was an open compartment (the best part about the train).
No sooner had the journey begun than people, especially those with kids started making way towards the open compartment. We hoped that the crowd’s enthusiasm would wane soon. We could then go to the compartment and enjoy the views with fewer people. But it was hard to sit inside and we soon headed out. The train moved along the winding tracks and took us deeper and deeper into the redwood forests away from civilization and any of its signs. It was cloudy and therefore slightly cold, but every once in a while the sun would come out and bathe the canvas before us in its glow.
We got down at Willits and while the engineers worked on attaching the engine to the other end of the train, people enjoyed their picnic lunches, kids danced to the train singer’s songs and I between taking pictures tried to take in as much of the quaint setting as possible. Technical glitches delayed our start back from Willits, but I don’t think anybody minded the delay. I would recommend highly recommend this ride if you are a nature lover – worth every penny!
We were really hungry by the time the train got us back to FB. We spotted a small Mexican restaurant and decided to try our luck. The lunch was excellent. With happy hearts and stomachs we bade farewell to FB. Traffic was unusually good and we were home in time for dinner.