UP NORTH

I understand Siberia has a lot of trees. A LOT.

I understand Siberia has a lot of trees. A LOT.

Mongolians eat mutton. But they wouldn't have gotten MY MOM's SHEEP.

Mongolians eat mutton. But they wouldn’t have gotten MY MOM’s SHEEP.

I am writing a book called “Up North.” Really. But more about that later. Today’s Up North is about next summer. Minnesota, Greenland, Lapland, Norway, Siberia. When I feel even a little disgruntled or worried or bored during the course of the day—I sneak a few minutes on a web site named “The Man in Seat Sixty-One,” the Trans-Siberian Railway section.

It is brilliant site. It is inspirational. It is the stuff of dreams. The whole site is about rail travel, all of which is pretty appealing but, my friends, the Trans-Siberian Train journey is special. It is long, surely exhausting, and probably only semi-comfortable and not the typical journey through kind-of familiar places.

And I am going next summer/fall. Really. Hopefully with my friend Beth. In some ways Beth is a more adventurous traveler than I am; in some ways I’m the more adventurous. She hikes and argues with her tour guide and subjects herself to a small group of people she doesn’t know on tours. I mostly ride and watch and do very little that tests my physical stamina. But I do it all myself which is both good and bad. Makes me feel that I’m okay out there in the world with just me; also makes me timid about things like hiking.

Wonder how we’ll do together. We both like to read, but she’s sociable and I’m not. I am with maybe one or even two people, but not strangers. I am obsessed with daily blog posts and she might want to experience evening on the train with interesting people. That could work really well or not. We are both big girls and can probably do our own thing without suffering from FOMA. (my granddaughter gave me FOMA—was so good to know that to experience the ‘fear of missing out’ is a timeless phenomena.)

When I say Trans-Siberian Railway I practically get goose bumps. Really.

Much more about this trip will be shared in the near and far future. Especially when it’s time to buy the ticket. But for now can I just say I am taking the Trans-Siberian Train from Moscow to Beijing next year. And before and after I will be in Greenland and then South Korea.

So between now and then I cannot spend any money frivolously, take any vacation days, do anything that is not health-enhancing. I must be disciplined.

Did I mention, next summer I’m taking the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Moscow to Beijing THROUGH MONGOLIA. Really.

 But now it’s Tuesday. I’ve been off-speed for a couple of days. Slacking on the poetry and more than a few other things. How about a couple of hours of NCIS? There would be no way to read and engage with Gertrude Stein and NCIS in the same night anyway…right? Really?

I want to share a few pics of what I think Siberia and Mongolia will be like….

Siberia=TREES.

Siberia=TREES.

Hopefully it will rain a lot.

Hopefully it will rain a lot.

I think Northome, Minnesota looks like a Siberian village might?

I think Northome, Minnesota looks like a Siberian village might?

SIBERIA right. Or maybe Minnesota?

SIBERIA right. Or maybe Minnesota?

I didn't have any photos of Mongolia. But they only eat mutton. Here's one of my mom's sheep.

I didn’t have any photos of Mongolia. But they only eat mutton. Here’s one of my mom’s sheep.

 

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