?

Log in

No account? Create an account

The Last Train Ride - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Aug. 5th, 2003

10:48 pm - The Last Train Ride

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

Alright! I'm visiting Eugene and Seattle. Amtrak tickets are bought
($330 round trip!).

I will leave Champaign at 6:10am on 9/17.
I will arrive in Eugene at 8:05pm on 9/19.

Spend a week in Eugene.

I will leave Eugene at 12:44pm on 9/25.
I will arrive in Seattle at 8:30pm on 9/25.

Spend a weekend in Seattle.

I will leave Seattle at 3:45pm on 9/28.
I will arrive in Champaign at 10:34pm on 9/30.

If anyone wants to join me on this trip, I'd love the company! Now's your chance to enjoy cross-country rail before Amtrak gets wiped out by an EVIL congress.

Current Mood: excitedexcited

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:spillshercoffee
Date:August 5th, 2003 09:05 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Dude. If it weren't for school, I would be ALL OVER THIS. Not to mention I've been DYING to get to Seattle to visit some friends and see the sights.
Twice I've taken Amtrak to Glacier National Park in Montana. It's kinda fun. Chances are you'll meet people on the train. It's a pretty social affair in the lounge and observation cars.
Color me jealous.
:)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:August 5th, 2003 09:42 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh I'm not worried about being lonely. I'm REALLY looking forward to the 2 days of meditation that traveling by train will inevitably be. Reading, looking out the window, meeting random people.

I took a sleeper car down to New Orleans with a friend once. That was awesome. This trip will be in coach.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:superlemming13
Date:August 5th, 2003 09:23 pm (UTC)

Seattle

(Link)
Seattle would be really nice this time of year. You'll like it alot. It's a really cool place, and the best part about it is that you can't get lost, because of the natural landmarks all around it. you can always see something that helps you know where you are.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:August 5th, 2003 09:51 pm (UTC)

Re: Seattle

(Link)
I have a lot of friends in both Seattle and Eugene. So I'm _positive_ I'll be shown a good time. :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:photogrphygrl
Date:August 6th, 2003 06:59 am (UTC)
(Link)
here anything about the 5th?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:August 6th, 2003 07:04 am (UTC)
(Link)
remember, the fifth is no good (john prine show!).

the guys who were playing on the fifth don't want to play on the sixth so that is probably open, still waiting for word from the venue on availability.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:photogrphygrl
Date:August 6th, 2003 07:07 am (UTC)
(Link)
oh yeah.. shit.. i meant the 6th :/ just keep me posted..
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:August 6th, 2003 12:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The 6th turned out to not be available at the venue so I can't do anything. Sorry!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:hwy61
Date:August 6th, 2003 08:40 am (UTC)
(Link)
Hey Zarfmouse, Rolandkale and I will be coming back from that area on 9/17. I know congress is diabolically evil, but why are they going to wipe out cross-country rail? Have Fun!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:August 6th, 2003 09:23 am (UTC)
(Link)
Amtrak is subsidized by the Federal Government and does not make a profit. The feds give Amtrak about half a billion dollars a year to operate as a quasi-government service. Amtrak needs that raised to $1 billion per year to continue it's current level of service. Congress doesn't want to give it, and instead wants to cut the funding altogether and make the states pay for Amtrak. This doesn't bode well for the long haul cross country services which are the least profitable.

The thing that sucks is that the federal government subsidizes the interstate highway system and the airline industry with $30-$80 billion per year. No one is talking about cutting those wasteful subsidies, but they're willing to kill Amtrak to save the cost of a single highway interchange spagetti bowl (new spaghetti bowls cost about $600 million to build).
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:hwy61
Date:August 6th, 2003 05:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks for the info, Amtrak definately beats having to look at those eyesoar roadside attractions when you drive out west. Giant pink dinosaurs in Arizona still loom in my mind.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:surrealmonk
Date:August 6th, 2003 09:02 am (UTC)

Holy gazebos Batman!

(Link)
Dude, if I'm free the last weekend of September, I'd be happy to give some company! Whereabouts in the Seattle area are you staying?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:August 6th, 2003 09:13 am (UTC)

Re: Holy gazebos Batman!

(Link)
I am staying with some friends, I don't know where they live yet. I'm sure there'll be a big gathering at some point of lots of people I know that weekend since I'll be there so briefly and want to see lots of people. I'll make sure you know about such events. Hook me up with your number by email and I'll make sure I've got it. I'll make my cell phone number known once I bother to get a cell phone.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:nyxdae
Date:August 6th, 2003 10:01 am (UTC)
(Link)
While you are in Seattle I suggest you take the Underground Tour of the city...It's halarious and entertaining. Seattle has a crazy history.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:nyxdae
Date:August 6th, 2003 10:03 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh...

And don't count on your trains arriving on time...at all. I think going west from central US is better than going East from central US, but when I went out east, we were delayed about 10 hours or so.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:August 6th, 2003 12:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Ok! Luckily I have enough padding in my schedule to deal with that. I know the train from New Orleans to Chicago is frequently late so I'm used to it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:mathuaerknedam
Date:August 6th, 2003 09:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I concur. Take the underground tour. Much fun, and educational to boot!


Matthew
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:juvenilia
Date:August 6th, 2003 11:07 am (UTC)
(Link)
you will:

meet cool new people reccommended by sascha
not go to starbucks
enjoy the train
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:August 6th, 2003 12:56 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Sascha better get his recommendations in! He has one month.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:juvenilia
Date:August 6th, 2003 12:59 pm (UTC)
(Link)
i think a month will be PLENTY of time.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:August 6th, 2003 01:13 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Also, I'm guessing my time in Seattle will be VERY limitted. We'll see if I can squeeze this "meeting new people" in between the "visiting old friends".
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:juvenilia
Date:August 6th, 2003 11:07 am (UTC)
(Link)
also, do not "torch any condominiums or other large structures."

- sascha
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:August 6th, 2003 01:10 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I will try to fight the urge!

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:juvenilia
Date:August 6th, 2003 03:44 pm (UTC)
(Link)
just say no to arson.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:folkyboy
Date:August 6th, 2003 07:12 pm (UTC)
(Link)
that seems like you coulda gone cheaper by flying...
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:zarfmouse
Date:August 6th, 2003 11:18 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Yah but this way I can ride my bike to the place I'm leaving from and just get on the train and chill for a couple of days with no email, no phones, no responsibilities, have HUGE amounts of leg room to stretch out, meet cool people, see awesome stuff out the window, eat good food in the dining car, and end up just a few blocks from my destination. I can even bring my bike on the train if I feel like it.

If I flew I'd have to take a bus to Chicago (3 hours each way and an extra $40), walk to the el, take the el to O'Hare, wait around, go through Department of the Fatherland DO YOU HAVE YOUR PAPERS PLEASE TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES security, go in the air and have my ears pop and my throat dry out, squeeze into a tiny seat where I have to wake everyone up every time I have to pee, eat shitty food, expend huge amounts of energy polluting the skies (do you have any idea what the gas milage of a jet is!) and fly into a place (Portland) that is at least an hour away from Eugene where I'd have to be picked up by car and driven through construction to my final destination. Lots of stress, lots of connections, lots of carrying my bags around, lots of crap compared to super mega ease and comfort.

Not to mention that having an extended stay in Seattle on one leg of my trip, making it not a true round trip, would probably be a bit of a hassle and more expensive with the airlines.

I'm very happy with paying extra for a MUCH more comfortable and enjoyable ride. Getting to skip the insane security bullshit alone is worth it. There's no way I'd ever subject myself to the degrading bullshit they put people with any kind of political activist background through.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:szasz
Date:August 7th, 2003 06:58 am (UTC)
(Link)
do you have any idea what the gas milage of a jet is?

Um, divided by number of passengers carried, a commercial airplane gets better fuel economy than a passenger train. Friction, having to slow down and speed up for every little town, climbing hills, and the fact that each passenger takes up much more room than on a jet are responsible for this.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From:kimmitt
Date:August 8th, 2003 01:59 am (UTC)

Planes and automobiles

(Link)
The only problem I have with trains is that they tend to cost twice as much as plane flights and cost more than just renting a car and driving if you've got 2 people or more. On the other hand, for one person who wants to chill for a while and doesn't necessarily have a ride to the airport, the train starts to look way more attractive. If the government subisidized trains half as much as it subsidized roads and airports . . . but I've already paid that money and may as well take advantage of it.

That said, the bike comment is well-taken. If only there were a nice ferry from Honolulu to LA. That'd be an awesome trip.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)