Jun 20, 2008

Day 21 - Chicago to Flagstaff (Part 2)

Phew, what a night we had last night!

I still cannot believe that we managed to catch our train from Kansas City with only 4hrs. I was dreading a situation where we would be stuck in Kansas City over night, and wouldn't make it to Flagstaff. Although Amtrak staff at the Chicago Union station were far from helpful, I must give credit to their staff on-board from Chicago to Galesburg, bus crew who took us to Kansas City, and also their staff from Kansas City for their professionalism and their attempt to take us to our destination.

Both Teruko and I managed to have at least 5hrs sleep since we got on board. We were feeling absolutely exhausted, but at least there's no walking like we have been doing for the last few weeks for at least a day.

As our train went further west, the scenery changed quite a bit and we could see the land looked more and more dry. Going through Colorado was quite exciting as we could see the American Rockies. At times, we saw some thick and dark clouds across the sky and had some shower during the day.

Because we only had the “emergency snack” that was provided last night for breakfast, we decided to have a bit of “treat” in the cafeteria coach. We sat at a table with an American couple from Midwest who told us that they have never been outside of the states, but have camped in every state including Alaska! Although what we are doing by train right now is very exciting, their camping story also sounded very attractive to us.

The ride across the Midwest got more and more cool and groovy because there were lots of huge curves that the train had to take. It's really cool to be able to see the front of our train while cutting through the mountains. Also, we started seeing more and more animals along the way, including dears, horses, cows, and some that we don't know what.

One thing was bothering us and other passengers. There's this one group that you could tell they are well-dodgy. This "dad" insisted to Amtrak attendants throughout the whole trip that he and his "family" deserve upgrade because he's a Vietnam War veteran and used to work for Amtrak, which no one believed. As he was not getting what he wanted, he started getting more aggressive towards the stewards. Then he started shouting at his son in his 20s accusing him of stealing $900 he had in his bag, while from what we could see it was most likely that the money was taken by one of his "girls" who looked like prostitutes. There was a exchange of foul language in front of families with small kids. One of the passengers complained to Amtrak, which meant that they were refused from the kitchen for dinner, drinks, etc. Haha! Also, it sounded like he had some gold items in his bag that he was going to sell in LA, which was his final destination. We didn't want some dodgy geezers and incidents while we were knackered, but at least we were entertained to some extent.

Towards the end of the afternoon, we could tell we were going to see some stunning sunset as the sky cleared. We had a long stop at Albuquerque after 8:00PM, but we started seeing some gorgeous sunset just before we departed.

I got more and more anxious as we got closer to Flagstaff. At 1:00AM, we finally arrived in Flagstaff after 36 hours of trip involving two pit stops. Both Teruko and I were more relieved than excited as we were totally exhausted.

Maureen and Carl, a very nice couple we met during this trip, kindly offered us a lift to our accommodation, Highland Country Inn. Honestly, we met a lot of nice people during this trip so far. It really goes to show that life is all about people. I hope Maureen and Carl will have some good rest since, along with other passengers from Kansas City, they were the ones who had to wait for all of us traveling from Chicago for so long at the station.


Anonymous said...

Nice to hear u2 so enthused, your trip sounds fantastic. Your very own Shawshonk Redemption you might say.... btw I hear Harry is likely to turn up at AC Roma

Jacklin said...

Mas, it sounds like your trip has been wonderful so far. I can't wait to see more pictures and read more stories. Have a safe journey!

Wotadiamondgeezer said...

We need money back from Harry! Kidding. Shame Harakiri never really lived up to his ability and potential at the Mighty Reds. If the deal goes through, then thanks for some of the good performance he made and good luck to him!

Wotadiamondgeezer said...

Hey, Jacklin

How are you doin?

Are you sure you wanna see more photos? I don't have the "official count" just yet, but it may well be over four thousand...

See you soon!