Amtrakking the States and Trolling the SCWC!
Views not afforded to cars are some of the best parts of train travel. No road separates this section of the west coast from the train.
Seattle or San Antonio? Nebraska or New Orleans?
Give me train travel any day over flying. I know it’s a luxury of time most people can’t afford. I call it an investment in modern anthropology and a writing desk on rails. I could tell you about all the people I meet, but then I’d spoil all the interesting essays I’m submitting for publication.
In February I will attend the Southern California Writer’s Conference (SCWC). It is one of the first writing conferences I attended and still my favorite, because it’s practical publication and platform without pretense and posturing. (Okay, well maybe a little posturing, but I’m working on that 😉 ).
I’ll give you a taste of the conference after it’s over, but in the meantime, help me pick a route or two! I’m taking Amtrak both ways, so here are the route choices I’m considering:
TO the Conference:
Option 1: California Zephyr through Denver and the Rockies to Emeryville, then Pacific Surfliner to San Diego (with a stop at cousin Emily’s)
Option 2: Texas Eagle to New Orleans and the Alamo to Los Angeles, then Pacific Surfliner to San Diego
As a student (or a geezer!) you get a 15% discount on all travel, but sleepers are still full price. Having the Amtrak rewards membership lets you work toward free upgrades though, so ride those rails!
FROM the Conference:
Option 1: California Zephyr (as noted above)
Option 2: Coast Starlight to Seattle (and a visit to cousin Lauren, and a couple of friends there), then the Empire Builder across Glacier and the northwest.
Sometimes I am lucky to get an upgrade to a full bedroom with its own bath and shower. This is ideal for messy Marla.
The Southwest Chief is one of my favorites, but I’ve done it many times already. These others I’ve only done in segments.
One of the many beautiful views from the Sightseer Lounge (any coach or sleeper passenger can enjoy this second story full-windowed viewing area.) This view is from the Southwest Chief in February 2012.
What tasty choices. Do any of you have favorite Amtrak routes? Feel free to explore the ones I’m choosing between and give me your opinion!
Hanging with my friend Vincent in Chicago’s Union Station while we wait for different trains. “Union Station” is so overdone. I wish all places named “Union Station” would reinvent themselves with something more unique. I would call this one “Station of the Breaking Wind.” Oh wait, I meant “Windy City Station,” didn’t I?
Thanks, as always, for reading and commenting!
P.S. Here is yesterday’s daily fitness check-in. There is NO STOPPING this fitness train!
Although walking on a train does have a certain extra level of fitness with all the jostling around, I do wish there were some kind of workout room with bolted down equipment. I’m going to have to hop off at each station and do jumping jacks!