Day 2

May 19, 2021


ALLOW ME TO BEGIN this post to apologize for the typos and inconsistent formatting of the train posts. One, I’m using a laptop, not a desktop, and I can’t seem to get the hang of typing with a trackpad. I spent all day working on yesterday’s blog because of the long stretches of nothingness–no wifi, no cellular. And working on your phone is RIDICULOUS. It’s hard enough to type a text, much less compose several hundred words.

On the Road Again

TODAY I’VE BEEN HUMMING rail road songs: “I’ve been working on the rail road…,” Chattanooga Choo Choo,” are a couple. Help me out friends and send me other names of rail road songs. We still have miles to go before we reach NOLA.

Before we departed, my friend, Mark C, sent me this song for the trip to “The City of New Orleans.” Enjoy.

(Source: YouTube)

Today’s Itinerary

WE SPED THROUGH NORTH DAKOTA overnight and woke up in Minnesota (pronounced with as much of a Swedish accent I can manage.) Much of the time, we paralleled the Missouri River. Far from St. Louis near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, here Missouri lacks its later grandeur. Although, it does remind me of a book I read called Canoeing Mountains.


While a business book, Canoeing Mountains uses the Lewis and Clark expedition to map a waterway to the West Coast Surprise! The Missouri River peters out long before reaching California, leaving it impossible to get there by river. Our two intrepid frontiersmen put on their thinking caps to solve their problem and save their expedition. And, the big question before them– how to canoe mountains? Long story short, the expedition reached California and might be the first example of reimagining business. (A shout out to Mark Meredith for recommending the book to me.)


Today we passed through St. Paul, Minnesota. Then south through Minnesota and Wisconsin and into Illinois. The train terminated in Chicago. We were supposed to have a four-hour layover in Chicago, but the train arrived two and a half hours late. It started yesterday with an hour delay in Washington due to a problem with the tracks needing repair. Later, we were delayed another hour when the train developed engine problems. I wonder if the engineer called AAA? 

Other delays occurred when a freight train passed through. The railways are owned by railroad companies. Amtrak is allowed to use it, but freight trains have priority.

Chicago Union Station

WE ARRIVED IN CHICAGO two and a half hours late, but the Chicago Union Station is spectacular. The owners renovated the train station back to its original glory. You can read more about the history of this busy train station on Wikipedia.


On the City of New Orleans

AFTER A SHORT LAYOVER in Chicago, we’re on board the train that will terminate in the Big Easy around 4 p.m. tomorrow, barring delays (ha!) This train is fully booked. Coach no longer social distances but still requires facemasks. All the bedrooms were booked, so we are in what Amtrak calls a roomette–it is two chairs facing one another. The chairs are converted into a lower bunk, and an upper bunk is dropped down directly overhead. No private bathrooms but one for other “first-class” travelers. Good thing I brought a robe for those middle-of-the-night bathroom visits. 

Amtrak Roomette

CAN’T SAY I GOT ANYTHING DONE today except for napping. There’s something about the to and fro of the train that rocks me to sleep. Larry keeps telling me that I’m on vacation, so nap away. And as you know, I came aboard with a busy bag full of things to do, read, knit. 

I’m going to close before I lose all cellular service and get this posted.

Good night from somewhere in Illinois, headed towards NOLA.

Debora Ragland Buerk
The Write Stuff
Looking at life from a different POV.

1 thought on “Day 2”

  1. Thanks for sharing the adventure! Railroad songs? After working for a Class 1 railroad for 37 years, there are a few “unmentionable” tunes!😊. For your sing-a-long, City of New Orleans and Wabash Cannonball would be a couple to add to your repertoire!

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