|Gorgeous Utah (an iphone camera can't do justice)|
Why am I in a hurry? After all, this is Amtrak. Many people are on vacation, choosing to take an Amtrak tour of the US instead of, say, a cruise to Alaska. They have all the time in the world. (They are also in private sleeper cars and eat every meal in the dining room.) The poor slobs in coach, well, you should have known what you were in for.
The thing is, rail can be electrified. Airplanes cannot. Cars can be electrified for short distances, but for long distances, they will be expensive energy gobblers, and it will be a long time before both our electrical grid and average household finances can support large numbers of them. In the medium term, electrified rail is what we're going to have. I know most people can't imagine this. This is why we, as a nation, won't deal with the reality that is pretty much baked into the cake (via climate change and peak oil) until it slaps us in the face.
|An achievement indeed in 1869|
|More gorgeous scenery|
Sleeping in coach was by no means comfortable but slightly better than I'd anticipated. I brought a neck pillow. (Good.) I wish I'd brought a lightweight, easy-to-pack blanket. Pretty much everyone had two seats to sleep on, and it was interesting to observe different people's reclining strategies. For me it was one of those sleep for an hour, wake briefly to reposition, go back to sleep for an hour nights. Got six hours of sleep. Could've been worse. When I woke for good, it was still dark and there was a huge orangey full moon in the sky ready to set.
|Place to take the kids|
Okay, I should give Amtrak its due. We've made up half an hour and now are only 2 hours and 50 behind schedule. And we may actually be going 45 mph at the moment. We're still on the flats of Utah. The long climb into the Rockies is ahead.
The adventure continues! See Part 4 here.