Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Amtrak Fall Coast to Coast Adventure - Amtrak's California Zephyr Eastbound Dec 2-5

The Engine That Could Not

The return journey on the eastbound Amtrak California Zephyr really was quiet pleasant and enjoyable.  My cough and nasal congestion began to get better.  I did call Dr. Allen's office and the nurse prescribed an antibiotic which I was able to pick up at a CVS pharmacy here.  Thankful for the CVS pharmacist who suggested and offered to call my local Rite Aide pharmacist and get the prescription transferred which she did.  I was not even aware that was possible so very much appreciate her doing that.  

The reference under the photo above about the "engine that could not" refers to the fact that this lead engine 190 had mechanical problem on my westbound trip and on this eastbound trip made it just pass Denver before breaking down again and was removed from the consist leaving the followup engine number 6 to pull the train the rest of the way from Colorado to Chicago. Engine 190 had broken down in Utah on our westbound trip. We sat for 3 hours while the situation was handled.  Yes, we arrived 3+ hours late into Chicago at 5:15 pm.  Good thing was that I am most passengers slept through the experience. Sleeping on a standing still train was restful and good after four previous night sleeping on a moving train.

One of my favorite things about traveling is meeting new friends from all of the world. Most of you know that I have a heart for working with and encouraging young people which I did for over 30 years working with 5th graders and 10th graders. So I really enjoyed meeting a fellow sleeping car mate a 21 year old student from Aidelaide, Australia on the westbound Zephyr taking 10 day holiday in the USA on his own. We chatted some, ate several meals together in the dining car and enjoyed each other's company.  He's in some of the photos below.

Below are photos from this westbound trip.

Christmas at the Emeryville Amtrak Station

Boarding in Emeryville, CA

Notice Two Engines pulling us across Colorado

At Denver Union Station

At Denver Union Station

Notice only one engine now pulling us across the Mississippi River at Burlington IO

Snow in Illinois

Back in Galesburg, IL 3 hours late 

I am now safely enjoying a room in a brand new Hampton Inn in Chicago near Union Station where I will return tomorrow to take the 6:40 pm Capitol Limited train overnight to Washington, DC, and then fly home to Nashville Thursday afternoon.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Amtrak Fall Coast to Coast Adventure - December 2

Friends and Followers of My Blog,

I am late posting today's laptop update.  As I have traveled beginning Sunday afternoon November 27 I began experiencing a rare for me head cold with coughing and nasal congestion and drainage.  No chest congestion as of yet.  Even had some but not complete laryngitis a couple days.  So after arriving Emeryville last night I enjoyed a meal at 6 PM and was in bed by 8 pm last night without doing this laptop update. I slept well for over six hours and am now doing this update at 5 am.  All these times are Pacific the local time here.  Health wise, I am improving and have had no fever, just coughing up a lot of junk.  I am still coughing with quiet times in between and coughing up the nasal drainage.  I'll check with Dr. Allen when I get home Thursday December 8 if not recovered by then.  I've not called yet because I have not stayed anywhere long enough get to pharmacy even if he wanted to prescribe anything.

I do get back on the California Zephyr this morning and will arrive Chicago Monday and stay overnight at Hampton Inn West Loop near the Union Station.  I will not plan to do another blog update until Monday night from Chicago.

Here are few snow photos as I crossed the Sierra Nevadas in California yesterday.

This last photo is after we crossed the Sierras and were approaching Sacramento, CA.  You can see the snow covered Sierras in the background.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Amtrak Fall Coast to Coast Adventure December 1

Back in snow packed Colorado today. Just stopped in Winter Park and Fraser. Will be out of cellular service most of day so here are a few photos. 





Snowman at Glenwood Springs


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Amtrak Fall Coast to Coast Adventure November 30

Arrived Chicago early 8:28 AM. Union Station is decorated for Christmas. Leaving on Zephyr at 2 PM. 

Here are some photos from Union Station. 





Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fall Coast to Coast Adventure November 29

What a wet rainy day Tuesday is. Nevertheless I traveled from DC to Wilmington DE and back and rode my first Acela Express today. Will board the Capitol Limited later for a 4 PM departure to Chicago. 

Here are a couple Acela Express photos from my phone.



Monday, November 28, 2016

Fall Amtrak Coast to Coast Adventure - November 28 - Arrived Washington, DC

View from my hotel room overlooking Union Station and Capitol 

Fall Amtrak Coast to Coast Adventure - November 28

I flew from Nashville to Washington, DC, today and checked into the Hilton Garden Inn - US Capitol.  The photo above was taken from my room after sunset but you should be able to see the trains near Union Station and the Capitol dome near top right.  I checked into my hotel at 3 PM and had time to make a quick subway ride one stop away to Union Station to familiarize myself with location of all the Amtrak facilities. Union Station is a large indoor shopping and food court a.rea.  

Today was cloudy and gloomy everywhere I traveled and rain is expected here in DC tomorrow.  My day will begin early as I will ride a regional Amtrak train from DC to Wilmington, DE, and then return on an Acela Express high speed train.  Should be back in DC around 1:30 PM. After a couple hours back in DC, I'll board the Capitol Limited train to begin my coast to coast four day three night trip through Pittsburgh, PA, Chicago, IL, Omaha, NE, Denver, CO, Winter Park, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, Reno, NV, Truckee, CA, and Sacramento, CA, to Emeryville, CA, just across the Bay from San Francisco.  Should arrive around 3 PM Pacific Time Friday.  That's when I'll send the next laptop generated update.  I do hope to post short Iphone updates while I travel on the Capitol Limited and the California Zephyr.  

While I was at the local subway stop near my hotel I got photos of an Acela Express and a Amtrak regional train departing Union Station.  Those are the photos below.

Acela Express

Same Acela Express - has engines both ends

Electric engine pulling Amtrak regional train

Same Amtrak Regional train

You can click on any of the small photos in this blog to open a full size photo. 

All my photos are available to view on Reagan's Photo Galleries website.


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Monday, November 21, 2016

Fall Amtrak Coast to Coast Adventure - November 28 - December 9, 2016 - Preview

Amtrak's California Zephyr Snowy Departure from Winter Park, CO

Fall 2016 Amtrak Coast to Coast Adventure Preview

A week from today on Monday, November 28, I depart on my Fall Amtrak Adventure traveling on two new trains for my first time - Acela Express on the Northeast Corridor and Capitol Limited between Washington, DC, and Chicago, IL.  In a way, I consider this my "just because I can trip".  I have already planned a similar trip for April 2017.  I'm usually home in Nashville during the NFL football season as a Tennessee Titans season ticket owner.  This season the Titans' open date(no game) is Sunday, December 4, so my love of traveling Amtrak sleeper cars was all the reason I needed to plan this trip. A great thing is both the airline flights to and from DC plus the westbound trip from DC through Chicago on to Emeryville are all compliments of frequent flier miles and Amtrak Guest Rewards(AGR) points.  Needing to only earn a few more AGR points to reach the elite Select Plus level for my first time, I added a short trip north from DC to Wilmington, DE, on a regional train in business class and a return to DC on an Acela Express train in first class.  

As I travel on this trip when I am in a hotel overnight I'll post an update with pictures - only four nights in hotels on this trip. Since I am traveling six nights on trains, I plan on submitting a short update without photos those nights from my Iphone or Samsung Nook tablet.

If you would like to follow along with me, here is my basic schedule.

Monday, November 28 - Fly American Airlines Nashville to DC. Overnight in the Hilton Garden Inn, Capitol near Union Station.

Tuesday, November 29 - Depart 8:40 AM on Amtrak Regional Train to Wilmington, DE, and return on Amtrak Acela Express arriving back at DC Union Station 12:55 PM. 

Later on Tuesday, November 29, depart DC on Amtrak Capitol Limited 4:05 PM bound for Chicago.  Overnight on Amtrak's Capitol Limited in sleeping car roomette.

Wednesday, November 30 - Amtrak's Capitol Limited arrives Chicago Union Station scheduled 8:45 AM.

On arrival in Chicago check into Amtrak's Metropolitan Lounge for first class passengers.  Around 1:15 PM board Amtrak's California Zephyr from the Metropolitan Lounge for a 2 PM departure for Emeryville, CA. Overnight on Amtrak's California Zephyr.

Thursday, December 1 - Traveling all day on the California Zephyr traveling through Denver, Winter Park/Fraser, Glenwood Springs, and Grand Junction in Colorado.  Overnight on Amtrak's California Zephyr as it travels through Utah and Nevada.

Friday, December 2 - Traveling on Amtrak's California Zephyr Reno, NV, to Emeryville, CA, passing through California cities Truckee and Sacramento. Scheduled arrival in Emeryville is 3:10 PM.  Overnight in Hyatt House Hotel in Emeryville.

Saturday to Monday, December 3-5 - Back on Amtrak California Zephyr departing Emeryville 9:10 AM traveling three days, two nights, to Chicago, IL, with scheduled arrival Monday at 2:50 PM.  Overnight in Chicago at a new Hampton Inn West Loop only blocks away from Chicago's Union Station.

Tuesday to Wednesday, December 6-7 - Return Tuesday morning to Chicago's Union Station to check into Amtrak's Metropolitan Lounge before spending day out and about in Chicago's downtown.  Return to Metropolitan Lounge before 6 PM to board Amtrak's Capitol Limited departing Chicago 6:40 PM with scheduled arrival in DC Wednesday 1 PM.  Overnight Wednesday at the Hilton Garden Inn Capitol near Union Station.

Thursday, December 8 - Fly home to Nashville from Washington, DC, Reagan National Airport on Southwest Airlines.

For now, I plan to be home in Nashville through the Christmas and New Year's holiday season and in January until my Winter Snow California Zephyr trip January 23.

Here are my next two planned Amtrak trips.

January 23-31 Amtrak 2017 Winter California Zephyr Trip -- This is becoming my annual "see snow away from home" Amtrak Winter trip on the Zephyr. I will fly Southwest Airlines to Chicago for two nights at Doubletree THE WIT Hotel followed by the three day trip on the California Zephyr to Emeryville, CA.  After two nights at the Hyatt House Emeryville, I will board Amtrak's California Zephyr for the day long trip to Los Angeles followed by trip on the FlyAway Bus to LAX Airport and two nights at a hotel near the airport before flying home on American Airlines nonstop January 31.

April 8-22 Amtrak April 2017 Rail Adventure -- On this trip I will be riding on two Amtrak trains for the first time and actually traveling coast to coast and return.  I will begin the trip by flying Southwest Airlines to New Orleans April 8 for two nights at the Hyatt House Hotel on Poydras Street near New Orleans Union Station. Early Monday morning (7 AM) I will depart on Amtrak's Crescent train from New Orleans through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia(Atlanta), South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia arriving Tuesday morning at Washington, DC, Union Station. That same Tuesday afternoon (4 PM), I will depart on Amtrak's Capitol Limited through Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania(Pittsburgh), Ohio, and Indiana arriving early Wednesday (9 AM) in Chicago's Union Station. At 2 PM Wednesday, I'll board Amtrak's California Zephyr for the two night trip to Emeryville arriving Friday late afternoon April 14 for two nights at the Hyatt House Emeryville.  Sunday morning (9 AM) I will board the east bound California Zephyr bound to Chicago arriving Tuesday afternoon and staying one night at the new Hampton Inn Chicago West Loop. Wednesday evening, April 19, I will return to Chicago Union Station to board the Capitol Limited(6:30 PM) for overnight trip back to Washington, DC, arriving early afternoon (1 PM) for a two night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn/DC US Capitol.  Saturday, April 22, I'll fly Southwest Airlines home to Nashville from Washington, DC, Reagan National Airport.

You can see all my previous Rail Trip photos on my photo galleries in the Rail Trips Folder.  

You can click on any of the small photos in this blog to open a full size photo. 

All my photos are available to view on Reagan's Photo Galleries website.


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