The Amtrak adventure

Well I have nearly spent the last 24 hours or so on a train from Denver to Sacramento via Amtrak, at time of writing I still have 13 hours left. We have cruised through the mountains of Colorado and across the vast deserts of Utah. In the next 4 hours or so we should hit Reno and then see the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. It was another early start for me this morning with a 5:45 alarm followed by a walk up to the bus station, there was a bit of panic involved, I had plenty of time but I always hate trying to get to a place within a time limit, it causes stress. I at one point didn’t want to wait for a bus so walked up to the nearest cab in Denver and said to the guy that I am going to the Amtrak station, does he know it, can he take me there. I got a response I was not expecting when he said “I’ve been sitting here for 3 hours, you can just get the bus”. “I’m not sure the bus will get me there on time” I told him and he just stared at me and told me that it would not take long on the bus. I walked away from a battle I was obviously loosing and my mind boggled how a guy in a cab who probably needs to feed his family turns down any fare even a small one. There is one obvious reason that I can think of. The cab in question was sitting outside a hotel (The Sheraton) I think, it’s possible he was waiting for the rich people in there to come out and tell him to take them to the airport or something which would of been a much bigger fare and my fare would of removed his position in the queue for the first bigwig. I wonder what he would say if the bigwig told him to take him to the Amtrak station. Still I got to the station on time and everything went well.

I have sort of slept, the chairs do recline somewhat but nowhere near enough that I can get into a good sleeping position but life is okay. One thing about Amtrak is that when your on the train you are effectively their captive audience and they will charge you for the privilege. Lunch is a not a great tasting but edible burger for $10 and dinner was threatening to be a plate of Rigatone Pasta for $16. I mean seriously, thats just pasta right? $10 I might not be complaining, that extra $6 makes the difference between me buying it and me not buying it, there are of course other options but this is the cheapest. I had lunch and managed to hang on and skip dinner, we stopped in Salt Lake City for what I was told would be a minimum of 40 minutes which actually turned into an hour. I decided to make some sort of mad dash up the road to find something to eat, a ten minute jog turned up a mall with an Applebies where I ordered some stuff for take out and then jogged it back to the train with 10 minutes to spare of the original planned 40 minutes.
Besides that there has been some truly wonderful scenery cruising through the mountains.

As this journey started yesterday I did come over all emotional, I’m not 100% what caused this but I think it was a combination of things. I thought back through what I had achieved so far and it made me proud somewhat and I always get emotional during these times. I am not use to feeling proud of myself, I may of mentioned this several times already and I will probably mention it again. I didn’t fight these emotions as I usually would but I used the technique of acknowledging them and letting them happen and not feeling bad for being emotional. I wrote down what I thought was causing it and what the source might of been and how I was feeling, I’ll be honest with you and say that I could of done with a hug at the time and if you had hugged me at the time I might of held on way longer than you wanted me to just taking solace in the other persons warmth. You see even as I write that the emotions have returned a bit and I am trying again just to acknowledge them. I have met and talked to so many people on this trip and people to me right now are like busses, some bypass me, some I travel with for a while and then we part ways, no doubt more will come but I am missing some contact. I knew this was going to happen but I was not sure when or how much, I will be surprised if I find contact like the friends I have back home because it has taken time to make those relationships and I may be an honest person but it takes me time to trust people.

One thought on “The Amtrak adventure

  1. Chris you are such an AMAZING man! I truly enjoyed your company, jokes, and stories along our journey together. And tho our paths were crossed for only a few short days, in the time you grew very near and dear to my heart. I will always cherish the memories of that very special train ride and I have a feeling our paths will one day cross again and we will set out on new adventures. Don’t forget, you owe me a date to the dance. I cannot wait to see you all fancied up in your kilt 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.