Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak’


Amtrak for the Holidays, Part 3

March 22, 2012

After keeping all the people in Tubespace in suspense for the better part of two months, I am finally ready to finish my Amtrak trilogy.  Unfortunately, this post is less The Return of the King and more The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia, in that it’s kind of a letdown compared to what came before it.  Parts 1 and 2 covered the 50+ hour trips from LA to Chicago and Chicago to San Fransisco, respectively.  This post will cover the 13 hour trip from SanFran back to LA.  Here’s the thing.  Before starting my Amtrak excursion, a 13 hour train ride would have been an untested adventure.  However, being that it was the smallest part of a much larger whole, it was instead almost entirely blasé.  Really, it felt like a kind of longish commute.

Some morning train-side scenery.

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Amtrak for the Holidays, Part 2

February 2, 2012

Aftre doing the whole Home For The Holidays thing for a few days, it was time to start heading back West.  If I was being totally practical, I would have gone back the way I came, taking the Southwest Chief directly back to LA.  Always leery of excessive practicality, I decided to instead go back to LA via San Francisco.  This was partly just to avoid taking the same route twice, but was mostly due to the fact that Amtrak’s Chicago – San Francisco train is called The California Zephyr.  I’ll be honest, the phrase “California Zephyr” is probably what sold me on going Amtrak to begin with.  I’m a sucker for cool place names, and apparently, cool train names as well.

It's kind of like Smucker's. With a name like California Zephyr, it has to be good.

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Amtrak for the Holidays, Part 1

January 28, 2012

As Christmas approached, I was faced with the question of whether I could/should go home for the holidays.  Having recently moved from Ohio to LA, this was substantially more troublesome all the sudden.  “Going home” used to entail a short hop down 75 followed by some state routes, etc.  About 180 miles in total.  I was now looking at over 2,200.  I took a lot of math classes in high school, all of which told me that 2,200 is more that 180.

I weighed the costs and benefits of making the trip (i.e. dithered), looking at expense, timetables, etc.  Eventually, I decided that I had time and money enough to make the trip.  Now that the if was answered, it was time to answer the how.  By this point, it was already early December, and plane tickets would have run over $1400.  Out of the question.  A cross country Greyhound trip on a tight schedule, while something everyone should do once, wasn’t something I was looking forward too after the last time (subject of another post perhaps).  I thought about driving, but I’ve kind of been there and done that.  It finally occurred to me that we have this thing in America called Amtrak.

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