Day One Thursday October 18, 2007
Jim picked me up a little after 11AM for the short drive to Pacific Central station where the bus left on time at 12 noon for the trip to Seattle - there was only one bus ahead of us at the border so it didn’t take long for us to clear customs.
We made good time traveling down the I-5 corridor - there were some fall colors south of Bellingham but not a lot. The traffic was actually not bad - we were slowed down a little as we approached Seattle - mostly rush hour delays - we arrived in Seattle a few minutes early and about ten minutes later we able to board the train - The train left on time at 4:45PM - I was soon greeted by the dining room steward asking for my preferred dining time - I took the early sitting at 5:30PM - a small bottle of Champagne was offered to the adults on board for the departure.
My room steward name is Chris - a youngish person who is just finishing his third year with Amtrak.
For supper I was seated with three other singles - all females - the oldest was 85 and the others about my age.
I choose the roast chicken from the menu along with mashed potatoes and corn - you also get a salad and bread along with your choice of a beverage and dessert - just let say that my dessert was a little decadent.
We had been making pretty good time but are now stopped east of Everett because a tree has toppled some wires used for communications and there is also a freight train ahead of us so we are going to be late into Spokane where the train meets up with the other one coming from Portland - In Spokane we pick up the lounge card - so right now it’s basically your sleeper to hang out in.
I had hoped to pick up some beer in Spokane but that won’t happen now as I will be too late for the liquor store so my next best opportunity for that will be Havre, Montana tomorrow afternoon.
After supper we were treated to some freshly baked cookies - I took only two and they tasted fine.
We finally got underway after a two hour delay because of downed power lines - I was tired so I turned in shortly thereafter.
DAY 2 FRIDAY OCT 19, 2007
Didn’t sleep all that well - woke up several times but some how I don’t feel too tired.
Breakfast call started at 6:30PM - I waited til about 7 and then had an omelete with hash brown, sausages and a bun - the bun was the best part of the meal.
The fall colors are great this morning as we work our way into Whitefish Montana - one thing about being late is that we are going to be able to do Glacier Park in the daylight - however it is also cloudy and wet so I don’t know what views I will be able to see - why I am typing this entry Chris - our room steward brings us a morning paper - I have ordered a diet Pepsi from him as well. We have a 20 minute break in Whitefish so it was nice to be able to get off the train and walk around and get some fresh air. There was also internet but I didn’t connect in time before the train left the station.
If the weather starts to clear as we go over the pass I may head for the lounge car where the views will be better but I am on the Park side of the train.
Had lunch - there Angus beef burger is great - while at lunch was invited to join a wine and cheese tasting event later that afternoon - I got to sample two whites and two reds and white and orange cheeses -the session was finished off with a little trivia contest - didn’t win one of the free bottles of wine.
During our stop in Havre I had enough time to run across the street to a pub and pick up a 6 pak of Pabst Blue ribbon for $5.75 .
Started in on the beer and had two under my belt by supper time - supper special was a beef pot pie and it was delicious - lot’s of veggies and beef - fairly thick crust - came with a salad, mashed potatoes and green beans. I had ice crème for dessert.
After dinner returned to my sleeper and had another beer which probably explains why I had a gut ache during the night and why I didn’t sleep all that well. We are making no progress on getting back on time but the good news is that we haven’t fallen any further behind.
DAY 3 Saturday Oct 20, 2007
Awoke from a bad sleep around 6:30 AM - it is going to be a sunny day. Once again breakfast was a disappointment - asked for French toast but was sold out so choose a couple of scrambled eggs - my attempt at them at home provides a better result - well at lest the scenery is impressive - we have started to pick up the Mississippi River and there is a great display of fall colors along the river bank. Arrived in St Paul around 10AM - short break and the some more great colors along the river. Just finished lunch - today I had a small pepperoni pizza - it was a good choice.
As I type this post I am about 4.5 hours out of Chicago - while being late for me won’t affect my next train because it doesn’t leave until 10PM tonight - won’t be able to see to many of the Chicago sights as it will be getting dark when I arrive - there are restaurants and bars in the station as well as internet access where I hope to be able to upload these thoughts to my blog.
Have arrive in Chicago and are using the services of the first class lounge.