Thursday, June 16
49 Lake Shore Limited
Between Schenectady, NY and Utica, NY
I found a wonderfully picturesque seat in the lounge car where I can gaze at the river beside me. Just a little while ago, the sunset was lighting up the wide, misty path of the river. I took so many pictures from the window here, glorying in how beautiful everything was. The sun has almost set, but now the surface of the serene river, with only very few ripples in it, reflects the cloudy sky above and the rising moon. The light of the sunset will probably linger for at least another half hour or so.
We’ve been running alongside the Mohawk River in upstate New York for a good half hour now. Sometimes it twists away, divided from the train tracks by a few houses or grassy fields, or is elevated through a set of locks, but has kept coming back. The river is fairly wide and placid, sometimes broken by large islands with sprawling green vegetation, or sometimes choked along the banks with thick reeds. Beyond the river, I can see some green hills or in some cases, small towns. There is a good deal of industry along the river in this part of New York. I don’t know what kind of factories are here, but there certainly are some. The locks and bridges that occasionally span it look somewhat rusted and faded. Earlier, we even went by a horse ranch.
Sitting up here in the lounge car instead of back at the seat has been slightly more interesting. I’ve run into a Worcester man of many years named Chris who is fervently “feeling the Bern”. He and I talked a little while about the People’s Summit that he and several people are on their way to in Chicago. Bernie Sanders is also giving a speech tonight, as I saw on social media, around 8:30 pm. Chris avidly denied the likelihood that Bernie was going to actually give in and ask his people to support Hillary, and invited me to watch the speech with the rest.
I also had a funny incident with an Amtrak conductor that caused me to blush as red as a lobster for five minutes. While fooling around with my camera, I tried to get as many photos of the outside as I could, and then switched to taking a few pictures inside the car. I even turned the camera on myself at one point, and then caught a conductor sitting kitty corner from me giving me one raised eyebrow. To be fair, taking a selfie with a DSLR looks pretty funny, so I laughed also, and then put my camera away.
I’ve been sitting in the lounge car for almost over an hour, just trying to get a seat in the dining car. Though it’s possible to buy some food from the café car, which is just like a concession stand, I’d rather get a seat in the dining car and meet a few folks and enjoy an actual meal. After all, there are still quite a few hours left in the trip before I’ll be able to get to sleep.
Friday, June 17
Aboard the Lake Shore Limited
I’m not usually awake at this hour, but the rest of the world is. The sun already seems well up in the sky, no longer casting the sharp shadows it did half an hour ago. I woke up for good from my fitful sleep just after 7 am as we rolled through Ohio. We are now making our stop at Bryan, Ohio, our last stop here before moving onto Indiana, and then Illinois. Wonders of wonders, the train seems to be on schedule. We’re bound for Waterloo, IN, Elkhart, IN, and South Bend, IN before rolling into Chicago, IL just before 10 am.
We’ve been going past giant rambling fields of hay for the longest time now. Everything is as flat as a pancake, and every house seems to have its own grain silo. Welcome back to the Midwest, I guess. Some random observations: People seem to have a lot of dogs here. When we went by the Waterloo station, I saw a woman opening up her yard sale at 8 am. It was cool to see because I haven’t ever gotten up early enough to catch a yard sale when it first opens.
Last night’s dinner was somewhat disappointing, since I got seated at the very end, and had a table all to my lonesome. I had mac and cheese and a very good piece of cheesecake with graham cracker crust to console myself, and then went back to my seat. Soon, we’ll be in Chicago, and I look forward to seeing Anthony and Blenda, the friends we are staying with, and a really hot shower and a nap!