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Sunday, August 28, 2022

Train Trip '22 First Day and a Half

Click on photos to enlarge.

The trip this year is across the two northern lines that Amtrak offers: the California Zephyr on the way out and the Empire Builder on the way back with a stop in Eugene, Oregon to watch the Eugene Emeralds. This all started on Friday at Alderson, West Virginia.

It's a nice, little, unmanned station where the train only stops if there is someone to pick up.

This is not true. The station never opened and I sat outside in the humidity watching two guys mow the yards of the abandoned houses across the tracks. If Amtrak is paying someone to open and close the place it needs to get its money back.

Part of the reason I chose to get on the train at Alderson was that it was just before the train would go through a beautiful state park. I showed up two hours early, went and told the local police officer my car would be there for a week (please don't tow it), and sat down at the station to wait. It was a long wait and I even had to go eat supper at a local diner because the train was so late. By the time the train showed up it was dusk and I didn't get to see much of the park. I console myself with the thought that the trip back will be mid-day so I'll see it then. I stood up and put my duffel bag on my back at 7:15 and then the train didn't actually show until 7:21.

That's the train pulling up. Only, it didn't pull up to the station. It stopped short at the other end of that cement walkway. I had to walk down there with a full duffel bag on my back. Thinking back on it, it was the obvious place to get on (they wouldn't want to make people walk over the rocks with their luggage), but it would have been nice if there'd been a sign so I could have sauntered over there instead of doing a quick march.

Indiana in the morning.

Miles of these things.

Chicago graffiti.

Crossing into Iowa.

Burlington, Iowa on a Saturday night.

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