Amtrak Across the Country! – Introduction

I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a long time.   

Boarding the Train, Union Station, Washington, DC

It seems like I am always  just getting comfortable when someone tells me it’s time to move on to the next activity.  The long train trip enables one to get comfortable AND move on to the next activity at the same time!   In this case the next activity was a surprise 50th birthday party for my cousin’s wife.  The party was in Napa on a Saturday night. 

I would board the train in Washington, DC on Tuesday afternoon, arrive in San Francisco on Friday, and meet up with my wife who would fly out to make a weekend of it in the Bay Area.

The timing was perfect because in less than a month would be my own 50th birthday.  I have been trying not to freak out, but 50 seems pretty old!  Already, young people at my company, just out of college are half my age, and tell me I remind them of their fathers!  Now someone at AARP is preparing a membership card for me!  I needed something to mark the occasion.  So I decided  to seek adventure on the rails.

“Adventure” may be overstating it.  After all, I was not going to be a hobo riding in a box car; rather, I would be on a sleeper car–my own Superliner Roomette–with an iPad, Blackberry, Wireless Internet Card, Noise Canceling headphones, and a more than adequate supply of single malt scotch.

Superliner Roomette - right side
Superliner Roomette - left side


Superliner Roomette - center


I would get some time to myself, do some thinking, meet  interesting people, and see the country in one continuous stretch. 

And so begins my chronicle of an Amtrak journey across the United States.  I did meet interesting people,  I saw the awesome scale and diversity of geography that is the American landscape, and even learned a few things.



  1. I did the train to Whitefish, Montana with the girls about 12 years ago. The last leg of the trip the train goes through the south part of Glacier National Park. Absolutely stunning!

  2. Since apparently the price of a subscription to your blog is leaving a comment, I will have to make it a thoughtful one. Hmmm…how about, “Too bad the AARP doesn’t print out membership cards based on hair loss progression, because you could’ve been taking advantage of the senior discount for decades!” [I’m sure as blogmaster (is that a word?), you have the ability to delete this comment promptly, rather than take the low road and strike back at me publicly in an upcoming installment.]

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