Tag Archives: trains

Riding the Tracks Toward Sunrise

As the light fades on my first evening on an Amtrak train (the Sunset Limited from Los Angeles to New Orleans) there’s a few things I am realizing. 1) I am glad for the sleeper car, though also equally glad that I don’t suffer from claustrophobia. 2) the food on the train is better than I expected (especially given that I wasn’t sure there would be anything I can eat and now I know there is at least one dinner I will be good for Continue reading →

So it begins: American Identity Tour

A red metal x rises out of the concrete in the distance. “That’s Juarez” Dwight says. Even though I know this, the way that El Paso and Juarez almost intermingle always surprises me. You could accidentally end up in Mexico if you take the wrong exist off the I-10. But that is an adventure for another day and another time. As I stood and looked out the window of our hotel room, Juarez stretched out into the distance. A large American flag loomed large in Continue reading →

Packing for long distance train travel

As the NAPL American Identity Tour comes closer (less than 3 weeks now) I am focused on pulling the practical details of the trip together. This includes a packing list for 28 days. This includes 12 segments on Amtrak trains. On one hand I want to make the final packed luggage as light as possible, but on the other I do have some additional freedom and needs because of the train travel scenario. I also have one flight from Portland to Lousville on this trip Continue reading →

Like sand through the hourglass so are the itinerary changes: The American Identity Tour

So when I started talking about an Adventure around America via Amtrak, the map looked like this: Over time, as I’ve refined the plans for this trip – which I’m now calling “The American Identity Tour” – the itinerary has been shaped and formed and the map now looks like this: Dates have shifted a little as part of that planning too! The itinerary is now looking like this: Day 1 El Paso, Texas Day 2 New Orleans Day 3 New Orleans Day 4 New Continue reading →

Sleeper Car Segments!

Figuring out which segments to choose to upgrade hasn’t been particularly complicated – I am looking for the best bang for my dollar! I am also aware of my need to sleep and rest well! so which are the segments that I am looking at upgrading? Departure                                      Arrival El Paso, Texas New Orleans Atlanta, Georgia Washington DC Boston Chicago Chicago Minot, ND Minot, ND Portland, Oregon I am still waiting to hear back on exact cost to upgrade each of these! One of the other Continue reading →

Hacking the Amtrak USA Rail Pass

Because I am by nature always looking for the most cost effective way to travel, seeking out an AMTRAK USA rail pass for my upcoming Adventure around America seemed to make sense.  These are available for purchase by anyone. 15 -day/8 Segments – $459 ($229.50 for kids 15 and under) 30-day / 12 Segments – $689 ($344.50 for kids 15 and under) 45-day / 18 Segments – $899 ($449.50 for kids 15 and under) Some things you need to know about the program: The pass Continue reading →

Adventure around America via Amtrak in 12 segments

I’ve got a bad case of wanderlust. I’m ready to plan my next solo adventure – an Adventure around America via Amtrak. This year marks 10 years of blogging for me – since I first moved to the USA in August of 2007 – and so it feels a little like I’m coming full circle. Later this year – all things being equal – I will be eligible to apply for US citizenship, and it feels appropriate to explore more of this country, to understand Continue reading →

The Romance of Rail

The romance of rail. Rhythmic clack, clack, clacking as the train rumbles over tracks in the midst of the landscape. Feeling every gust of cold air or heat on the platform but being removed from it on the train. “The locomotive changed the face of America, both inside and out!”  Inquiry method. (p 37) The destination and route are set, so the detours require more effort and more planning. Though the agency is curtailed, there is a true traveler’s opportunity on a train – that Continue reading →

New Dreams. New Adventures

New Dreams. New Adventures. It began on a rare long weekend. One where we enjoyed sleeping extra. And ate home cooked meals. And wine tasted at our kitchen table. And dreamed. Together. Before we even met I had dreamed about an adventure that would take me from Scotland to Australia. I dreamed and planned, and explored, and read. It then became a plan for a trip from Australia to Scotland when I ended up back living in Australia. And international events caused some of the Continue reading →

Winds of Change: Public Transport

“Next Stop Fassifern!” – the tinny recorded voice over familiar on NSW public transport heralds insistently. The quiet carriage is mercifully quiet as we trundle past abandoning manufacturing yards filled with rusting stormwater pipe and graffiti-tagged concrete drains. The marshland interjects itself reminding the people-folk that their reclaimed land – rehabilitated for housing developments after mining – has depleted the earth of all that it deems useful. The mounds of coal sits in piles. The train glides by a steel works, still operating from the Continue reading →