Browsed by
Tag: Amtrak

I heart Samantha

I heart Samantha

In response to a few comments and queries, Samantha isn’t a real person. She’s the name of my Asus EEE mini laptop which did the trip around the USA with me, and is pictured in various places (Arizona, Los Angeles, Oregon, Chicago, New Orleans) in this post. Samantha proved incredibly popular, and I must have been asked about her easily over a hundred times. From train travellers to people in hotel lobbies, bars and restaurants to very excited librarians, Samantha…

Read More Read More

Trip summary

Trip summary

Days of trip: 36Miles travelled: 19,763Travelling companion: SamanthaCountries visited: Scotland, England, USA, Mexico.Countries viewed from ground: CanadaUS states visited or passed through: 18Conferences presented at: #GLLS2008, #IL2008Key words used at conferences: “Internet” (#IL2008), “Tool” (#GLLS2008).Favourite American accent: TennesseeFavourite place: Shortlist: New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago, Whitefish. Winner: Memphis.Highest altitude attained: 6,900 feet.Best moment: 10pm, 4th November.Worst moments: Noon, 5th November. Sometime in night of 9th NovemberBest meal ever: 6am, 7th November, a diner in Memphis Tennessee.Most surprising outcome: Somehow, despite often…

Read More Read More

Texas: a thousand miles of bugger-all

Texas: a thousand miles of bugger-all

(Note to Texans: the phrase in the title is Brit slang for “nothing”, as opposed to … oh never mind) The train ride from New Orleans to Los Angeles is 1,995 miles. Factoring in the 3 time zones that the train crosses and the trip takes 2 days and 15 minutes. That’s a long time to spend in the confined company of a small group of people not of my choosing. So it was with dismay that my first dining…

Read More Read More

Memphis, and the ride to New Orleans

Memphis, and the ride to New Orleans

After an excessively and stupidly late night drinking with Mark, Tyrone and Oscar on the train out of Chicago, I woke up to the coach attendant banging on my roomette door as we were early at our destination. It was 5:20am. “Leave me alone; I’m British!” “Sir, you gonna need to get your shit together; we pullin into the station real soon.” After the world’s quickest shower and a bag pack where more by luck nothing was left behind, I…

Read More Read More

Whitefish to Chicago by Amtrak

Whitefish to Chicago by Amtrak

Miles travelled on trip so far: 10,186. Planes: 3. Trains: 11. Buses: 14. Taxis: 7. Car trips: 6. A train ride of 32 hours, not far from much of the USA to Canada border, brings me to Chicago. Montana is one of the most scenic places I’ve stayed in. The nickname “Big Sky Country” fits the state perfectly as the horizons seem to fall away, leaving a huge expanse of blue. Always blue. The last time I experienced rain was…

Read More Read More

Montana at dawn

Montana at dawn

Miles travelled on trip so far: 8,492.Planes: 3. Trains: 10. Buses: 14. Taxis: 5. Car trips: 4. The Amtrak arrived in Whitefish, Montana just before dawn. Departing the train, I was greeted by the coldest weather yet. No snow, but apparently it’s the right temperature for it. The hotel has two outside hot tubs, from which the steam is billowing off in the cold morning air. Am imagining getting scalded on the parts below the water, and frostbitten on the…

Read More Read More

Breakfast in Seattle

Breakfast in Seattle

Awesome city. Day one of the Seattle experience. Here’s Alex eating a typical Seattle breakfast: Basically, that’s the complete opposite of the Amtrak breakfast as (a) it isn’t fried in fat and (b) there’s enough fibre in there to make the backside of an elephant explode.

First overnight trip on Amtrak

First overnight trip on Amtrak

The train left Salinas half an hour late. On the platform, as darkness fell, we saw a shooting star. “Oooh, look at that” said a distinctly Brummie voice to my left, and it turned out there were a group of people from Redditch travelling to San Fran. Small world. Boarding meant encountering the roomette for the first time. Basically, imagine an area with two chairs with a two feet gap facing each other, bound by walls behind them, a sliding…

Read More Read More

Pictures, not words

Pictures, not words

Not blogging much for a while; too busy to write prose. Most days though pictures are getting uploaded to Flickr. The growing set for this particular trip are here… and here’s a few for now from today’s eight hour train ride:

Los Angeles and Santa Monica

Los Angeles and Santa Monica

It’s morning, and around 80 degrees. The eight lanes of traffic on the road outside are getting heavy. A mile or so away, jumbo jets are queuing up to take off, on their way to Japan, China, Europe and Australia. The view from the window: As you may have guessed, I’m not in Berneray. Instead, I’m in an airport hotel in Los Angeles, California (Is that last bit necessary? Does anyone *not* know where LA is?). It’s about a week…

Read More Read More