Riding the rails
1jan2011: As part of our January travel adventure, we planned to take trains from New York to Oregon and (after a few days there) to San Diego. In Chicago, we boarded a train which was meant to take us all the way to Portland. For this, the longest leg of the trip, we got a sleeping compartment. One of the perks was a small bottle of champagne, with which we toasted in the new year.
In the wee hours of the morning, about thirteen hours out from Chicago, the train came to a stop outside Fargo, North Dakota. Due to compounded blizzards, stranded freight trains, and unprecedented who-knows-what, we could go no further. Instead, our train was attached to the back of our eastbound counterpart and sent back the way it had come.
Although a standard strategy when unable to go over the mountain is to take the tunnels through Moria, that never ends well. So we made arrangements to go from Chicago to Southern California directly.
In some ways, though, the trip has been pleasant. Amtrak covered a room at the Homewood Suites in Chicago, for the night we were standed in Chi, and even spotted us cab fare. So I'll wait to pass judgement on rail until we actually get there.