With a little bit of luck I left Reno on the Zephyr yesterday morning with enough cash in my pocket to buy lunch in the dining car. Not so for grandpa and he’s the one who begged us not to honor, “Open Your Umbrella Indoors Day.” Little J and I took our chances.
Okay, so I have to admit I did win the money the day before and grandpa may have been right. Luck turned a corner upon arrival at the Amtrak station.
First off, trains don’t recognize Daylight Savings Time. Think about it – how can a train leave Chicago on schedule, arrive at all the westbound stops according to time table commitments, and make up an hour between Winnemucca and Reno? The wait at the station… a little over an hour.
Second, near blizzard weather. Two buses cancelled the trip over the summit leaving two busloads of passengers the opportunity to observe the winter storm in the comfort of a coach seat. Finding three empty seats together in a sold out train? We took our chances behind a young man determined to catch up on all his phone calls between Reno and Sacramento. Eric commented that the foul mouth, drug dealing, gang influenced blather would stop once we reached the non-service areas. He was right about that. These were the opportunities to admire the young man’s latest rap tunes. Apparently when he wasn’t doing back flips off the stage, he was a musician, of sorts. Reminder to self – do not sit anywhere near young men wearing black fedoras, black leather jackets, black leather pants, skinny underwear (now how would we know that? – first time I ever saw baggy low rider pants in leather), jewels on every finger, ear buds implanted.
Third, dinner in the diner. The goal was to show Little J what dining on the train is all about. It seemed our discourse about fine dining on our honeymoon trip 46 years ago was as uninspiring as the drug induced rap job two cars behind us. Little J, as unimpressed as he was, did point out that the NON-silverware did still have an Amtrak emblem and the not-so-fine linen PAPER table cloths and a couple of pens provided artistic distraction while waiting patiently for the fine mac and cheese dining experience.
Fourth, delays. What more can I say other than one must always remember there is such a thing as “train time.”
Fifth – back to the umbrella – would it open once we arrived at our final destination in a deluge of rain? Of course not.