Riding the Rails

The craziest idea hit me today and I can't believe I didn’t think of it sooner.

You might recall I’ve written about ‘bucket lists’ and ‘ten desires’ and that many people have a list of things they want to do or accomplish over some amount of time.  I completely forgot to mention one that used to be near the top of my list but that I completely ignored during the years when I didn’t have the control over my life that I now have. 

I’ve been thinking about a trip next year to Oregon and Washington State to visit cousins who live in those two states. Seattle and Portland are much too far away for the road trips I’ve come to love, so I recently priced flights and mentally composed emails to each set of cousins in which I more or less invite myself to stay with them.  I’m sure they will say yes. 

You might know I also love trains.  Fifteen years ago I had this dream of taking a train trip out west one day, specifically because I thought it would be cool to travel through and over the Rocky Mountains in a train.  It could be a slow, relaxing trip with awesome scenery and no traffic.

While eating lunch and doing a little daydreaming, it hit me … I could take the train to see my cousins! 

Wow!  I actually had forgotten all about that ‘rail through the mountains’ dream.  So all of these ideas converged while eating a tasty lunch at my desk at work … train, mountains, family … and so I jumped onto the Amtrak web site to price such an adventure.  Yes, it is pricey, especially because I would want a sleeper car; in my youth I might have tolerated a three-day train ride in a regular seat.  Not anymore.  But three days with my own room and the freedom to walk around on the train, check out the view from one of those upper deck lounge cars, have a few drinks in the bar car … sounds pretty cool and relaxing to me. 

Basically this adventure would involve one train from DC to Chicago, then a different train from Chicago to Seattle; a total of three overnights.  I’d then spend a few days in Seattle, drive or fly to Portland, spend a few days there then fly home.  The more I write about this the more excited I get.

So I’ll end this now and write those emails.  All aboard!