Thursday, December 06, 2012

da train, da train

I have been pondering a new adventure.

My train trip last week to Olympia reminded me how much I enjoy train travel.  There is something about the leisurely pace of not only getting from one place to another, but also watching life unfold outside my window.

My favorite time of day is the early morning.  Especially in rural areas.  As the heartland of all that is good about America awakens for a day of honest labor.

OK.  I know I know that version is more Hallmark than reality.  But there is a grain of truth in the vision.  And I like to find it as often as I can.

So, here are my thoughts.  Subject to a lot of revision.

My house preparation is far from done.  Even after extending my stay to 9 December, I will need to return for the month of January.  If all goes well, I will return to Mexico for trips to Oaxaca and Chiapas in February.

When Melaque starts heating up, I am considering heading north again to spend two months on Amtrak.  With stops in cities where I have friends I have not seen recently.

On my next trip, I may even take a test run between Los Angeles and Salem to see how I like spending the night in one of Amtrak's sleeper rooms. 

The down side is price.  That two-day trip costs $200 more than a first class ticket on Alaska Airlines between Portland and Manzanillo.

We shall see.  May is still months away.  Knowing my recent mind moods, I may be off on another trip to Asia before the train thoughts solidify.

But this map is certainly filled with temptations.


Shannon Casey said...

I hadn't realized that train travel was so costly. I love the idea though, and have often thought of doing something similar myself. I would particularly like to take the Copper Canyon trip.

Steve Cotton said...

I was a bit surprised myself. The price is far more affordable if more than one person travels -- the room price is for the room, not per person. Sleeping in a seat is a far less expensive option, but I cannot sleep upright.

As for the Copper Canyon trip, I highly recommend it.

John Calypso said...

"the room price is for the room, not per person."

Time to make some new friends ;-)

Steve Cotton said...

Perhaps I could sublet on the train.

MarcOlson said...

Steve, after a train trip down the East Coast last spring (and blogging about how much I enjoyed it), I started investigating the Amtrak passes and came up with a very similar idea. I have started planning an Amtrak grand coast-to-coast tour, to visit far-flung friends and relatives all across the country. It's a great idea. Great minds think alike.

Steve Cotton said...

I may need to take out a loan to do it. I was surprised at how expensive sleepers are. $800 one way between Salem and Los Angeles.

MarcOlson said...

The costs of a sleeper is outrageous, although it is probably very nice. On my trip last spring from D.C. to Palm Beach I believe the cost was in excess of $1000. I will sleep in my seat, thank you.

Steve Cotton said...

If I could, I would. For whatever reason, I cannot sleep sitting up.

Kim G said...'re always welcome in Boston. For now I have a guest bedroom that's quite comfortable. But if you are at all used to Melaque heat, you won't want to come before late March at the earliest. Still, you're more than welcome.


Kim G
Boston, MA
Where winter is beginning to bare its fangs.

Steve Cotton said...

Boston is one of my potential stops. I may need to rob a bank along the way to plug the Amtrak kitty, though.

Laurie Matherne said...

Agreed. Find a friend/family member. And then GO! Traveling alone gets wearisome after awhile.

Steve Cotton said...

Maybe I could find one along the way.

Kim G said...

I'd recommend robbing a Mexican bank instead of a US bank. Much better odds of getting away with it.

Steve Cotton said...

I can always count on you for the best financial advice.