Tuesday, August 24

"You could have saved a lot of money using your own boxes." she said, hefting the super light package
"But because you used our flat rate box, it's the maximum charge regardless of weight."

At this point the transaction is already in progress, she's just making me even more miserable as I hand her over a hundred dollars. The contents of the parcels cost half that. Screw the postal system.

Add to that the cost of a last-minute flight and accommodation in Portland and I'm suddenly running hot. The next looming expense is the hotel for PAX (a princely $550) but after that it's Canada and good friends and all that cheer. I suppose I'll just pick a date and buy my fares south now, to avoid digging into my savings too much. Good thing I got that tax return.

The train from San Francisco up into Oregon was great. Not only did I get some uncomfortable sleep but I made friends with some like-minded young travelers (a gamer and a film buff) and saw some truly beautiful vistas including the huge bald eagles that are so iconically American.

Albany is a rural town; not unlike those found throughout Australia, yet classically American. It sits close to Corvallis, the 'college town' and Lebanon, the town with an indoor shooting range.

It was here I met with Kristen, Seeth, Steven, Eddie and Pony; definitely the coolest people (and Canid) in the town. I'll write some more later but we had lots of fun and played D&D.

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