Saturday, October 17, 2015

Day Twenty-Two: Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited from Chicago to Boston (via Albany)

I slept through breakfast. When I finally woke, the Lake Shore Limited seemed to be moving so fast, I could hardly capture a photo. The weather and the changing leaves looked more familiar than yesterday's - more like home. Our 9,000 mile journey was coming to an end.

Before changing trains in Albany, we had time for one last meal in the Dining Car.

Photo: Dining Car on the Lake Shore Limited

Photo: View from our dining table during lunch on the Lake Shore Limited

Photo: There were many views similar to this one as we moved toward Utica, NY

Photo: Menu on the Lake Shore Limited

Photo: Amtrak logo on one of my forks at lunch. This was one of the older pieces of silverware used on the trains. The newer silverware has no logo.

Photo: Lunch special - panko breaded chicken breast with garlic mashed potatoes. One of my favorite meals on Amtrak.

We transferred to a different train offering only Coach class service for the five-hour trip from Albany to Boston. It was a fast, smooth transition. Coach class was very comfortable.

Photo: Nearing sunset at the Amtrak station in Springfield, MA

Photo: Passing the 9,000 mile mark of our trip on the Albany to Boston train

We arrived at South Station in Boston on time. Rather than rush to catch the 8:15PM bus to Barnstable, we opted to relax with a cup of coffee in South Station  and catch the 9:45PM Plymouth and Brickton bus instead. We had been in motion for a very long time. It felt good to sit still.

Photo: John in Boston's South Station. Never the worse for wear.

After an hour-and-a-half ride on the bus and a twenty-minute drive from Barnstable to Osterville, we were glad to get home, but also glad to have made this very special trip. Seeing the country by train changed my perspective in ways I will continue to discover over time. And thanks to the Cowboy poets and singers we met, I have been inspired to sing again.

Watch for the hat and a guitar . . .

Friday, October 16, 2015

Day Twenty-One: St. Paul, MN to Chicago, IL and The Lake Shore Limited

Sunrise brought new, industrial landscapes into view as we passed through Clear Lake and Becker townships on the way to St. Paul, MN.

Between Ravenna and Milwaukee, many of the landscapes reminded me of watercolor paintings with strikingly beautiful cloud formations. [Mom, these are especially for you.]

There was a huge road and rail contruction project going on in Milwaukee.

After two days and nights on the Empire Builder, we arrived in Chicago. I had a new sense of "America the Beautiful."

Photo: The train platform at Chicago's Union Station. The red light marked the end of our adventure aboard the Empire Builder.

After detraining in Chicago, John and I spent several hours in the Metropolitan Lounge before boarding the Lake Shore Limited a little after 9:00PM. Dinner service was over. The beds in our roomettes were already made up. I listened to a Louis L'amour novel and watched the city lights pass by as the Lake Shore Limited sped east, traveling at what felt like twice the speed of the Empire Builder.

Tomorrow: A day on the Lake Shore Limited