Trip:Earth:USA:Chicago to Seattle:Journal: Part 2

Day 2:

I woke to the sun. Always a good way to help set your internal clock. The slow steady ramping up of the light attacking the pineal gland and melatonin stops doing its thing. Somewhat sleepless night though. Very cold in the room. No heat and the blankets brought from home were thin. The room control for the heat was not working. Looking through the window the flat countryside of farmland is witnessed. Seriously flat country. Overcast and wet it is still beautiful waking up in North Dakota. On the google maps we are close to the border to Canada. I’m sure distancewise it’s really far. It’s nice to see the cattle walking around grazing and not penned up and being fed. Old and run down in appearance pickup trucks, silos, grain equipment and John Deere tractors are everywhere. The ground is so thoroughly soaked trackside I can see almost a small river of water, wondering if it undermines the rail but unlikely as the rail has been around for a while. Extending out, the field of wheat or grass lay heavy with pools of water everywhere. Ducking and geese nestled in pools. Cows and horses doing their own things.

Breakfast on the train was ok. Breakfast burrito with eggs and pepper jack cheese. Avocado to cover, more salty potatoes and a biscuit even butter couldn’t save. The burrito was ok even if runny. Being there late the diners clear as the staff talk to us about lunchtime and plans for the next meal. I still have my kindle to entertain me for a little while. Too bad I haven’t seen any WIFI yet. (I learned after that this train didn’t have it. Oops on my part.)

Lunch was uneventful. A little bit more sun outside but still overcast, cold and wet as we cross from Wisconsin into Montana. I had an angus burger with swiss on a croissant not a kaiser roll. They had run out of the Kaiser rolls. I had my doubts on the taste but it was very tasty. Potato chips on the side. The meal was warm and the best food yet. I might do a croissant burger in the future but I imagine it’s not that healthy. Conversed with the couple at the table. I wasn’t sure how tipping went and decided I would do one large tip at dinner to the staff waitress. As the meal was included and I wasn’t walking around with cash I wasn’t sure how to leave a tip. Waiting for tonight will make things easier as she said she’ll be traveling all the way to Seattle.

An afternoon spent resting and relaxing. I took a nap and had some drinks. Saw the flat earth that fell into the horizon. Dinner was at a late time and good as far as meals went. The lite option of a small stake and couscous with baby carrots. During this we approached and went through glacier national park. Absolutely beautiful. Pictures and videos speak for themselves from the dining car. I attempted pictures and videos in the lounge car at some point but you just have to put everything away and enjoy the scenery, as well as not having enough light for the exposure.

Back in the room, lights left off, it didn’t take long for the eyes to start adjusting to the low light. Eerily trees, snow, and shadows skimmed by. Glimpses at objects that may have been something but probably weren’t. Bigfoot is still unwitnessed. At times we crept slowly until the rocking motion of the train finally forced sleep upon me until a glaring consistent light awoke me. Nothing but a newspaper to show me we were in Spokane. Here the trains decoupled. Some passengers going to Portland, the rest to Seattle. Those going to Portland got to keep the viewing car and those going to Seattle kept the dining car. I’m fine with that. I walked off the train in Spokane to take a look around in only a fleece shirt unaware of the time we would be there but assured that the train would leave without me. In the heart of the night, still a beautiful city, I go back to sleep in comfort looking across the street and seeing the lit sign for Precision Pilates. Spokeaneans have no fear of not being in shape. I’m hungry and look forward with trepidation to breakfast knowing what I’ve had so far as well as the need to repack my bags for the short stay in Seattle.

-SFA

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