Friday, May 05, 2006

You know you're taking a long train journey when...

  • You go to Walgreen's first to pick up some groceries
  • You unpack when you get on
  • You put your watch forward an hour
  • You take photos of scenery every so often, and end up with over 70
  • You pass over two mountain ranges
  • You add five states to your USA total
  • You pur your watch forward an hour, again
  • You arrive five hours late, and that's less than 10% of the total
  • You get accustomed to paying $2 for a Snickers bar
  • You spend three days and two nights on the train
  • You have to take a shower and wash your hair twice when you arrive (eew!)

Yes folks, I took a train from San Francisco to Chicago. 2438 miles in 57 hours (59 if you count timezone changes). It was a remarkable journey, hence this post...

  • The first day was spectacular - climbing from sea-level at Oakland/Sacramento up to 7000ft over the Sierra Nevada. The train paralleled I-80 which I drove along last Friday for the whole day, but not driving, I could see a lot more of the scenery. Stunning stuff! I went to sleep somewhere in eastern Nevada.
  • The second day was also spectacular. I woke up in eastern Utah, having passed through Salt Lake City at 4am. We spent most of the day alongside the Colorado river, passing through nine canyons and climbing to over 9000ft at the Moffat Tunnel (before this tunnel was built, the train climbed a 4% grade to 11000ft - yikes!) and then descended to Denver. Mercifully, I slept through Nebraska.
  • The third day was just cornfields. Oh, and waiting in one spot for over two hours waiting for freight trains to pass over a single-track bridge over the Missouri. Fun.
I'm off to Minneapolis later on. I'll blog about my weekend in Stanford this weekend! Now, where did this week go...

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