Tales of Open Road

Westward ho!

... a hobo remembers a special dawn, in 1931.

by Bill Jodrey

The prairie lands of our western states seem to be treeless, with endless low rolling hills when viewed from the back of a truck or from the door of a freight car.

One day at early dawn and before the sun had risen, the freight train on which I was riding, was setting on a "hole" track, waiting for a passenger train to pass so that this freight, loaded with empty cars, could reenter the main line.

I recall feeling restless, instead of rested, so I jumped out of the freight car and decided I would ride on the top for a change of pace.

Almost immediately, as I settled down, the sun reached the perfect area below the horizon, so that the view of the sky was lighted without any glare to change the most fascinating view that I have ever seen.

From horizon to the zenith, in all directions, the sky was covered with pink clouds, relatively small and square, but not touching one another.

The scene lasted for only a few minutes, and then disappeared as the sun took over the sky and another day was born.

A somewhat similar incident happened on an evening when I was in Seattle, Washington.

The sun had set, leaving a pink afterglow in the western sky, which, by itself, was splendid enough but as I turned to the east I was greeted with the breathtaking view of Mount Rainier, which was totally bathed in the bright pink reflection of the western sky.

Some such experiences are remembered for a lifetime.

Sept. 15, 2000

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