October 5, 2011

Cascades to the Plains

Most photos Used with permission from G. Coming into Glacier National Park.

Yesterday and Today

He’s loaded with 16 cases instead of his usual five. Perhaps they want to see how he does under stress. Me….I saw the bone doc and he said shots are allowed every 4 months. Arrange through my regular doc. Worked on this entry most of the day. Enjoying cooking a little more now that I can stand.
September 26
We slept well, ate a light breakfast at 0630, and found a table in the parlor car headed for Chicago. There was room for the train books, time tables, computer, cell phone, GPS, and each other till lunch. Outside was grandeur.

After a lunch time nap, we found the mountains fading to plains. Slowly the peeks retreated over our shoulders giving us instead a soft looking world of grasses and cows and endless seeming golden views all blown sideways by the winds. Corn, rye, winter wheat, and green strips between each field. Small stations whipped by us. Rarely did we catch their names. It was also fascinating in its drama, in the abandoned buildings and cars, and in the colors that I so love.

Dinner and darkness found us still on the prairie rattling along. We played cribbage and joked with our car attendant as the lights flashed by our windows. The clock moved forward forcing us to bed at an earlier hour than we would have gone normally. We slept well…slept well every night. The nights in our car were warm but good. Getting up was a struggle. We would both have to use the heads at the same time, and we both had to fit in the same small space to dress to go down the hall. You cannot underestimate the power of bathrooms when you are in a tiny, moving, closed space.

September 27
The dark faded into greens this morning as we woke to find ourselves in the outskirts of Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota. Slowly we crept into a really ugly semi modern station while we were eating breakfast, then sat there. In the rain. Later I was charmed by Red Wing, my grandmother’s home town. How did a farmer in those days put four daughters through college. I had to imagine the snow Grandma told me about. It seemed even greener here this day.

The Red Wing Minnesota station and the Wisconsin Dells station.

Small stations on the Great Plains.

We have been running late on this leg of the trip. Other passengers tell us of the horrors that the flooding left in the communities we are passing. One says that often Amtrak had to bus passengers around the flooding. I feel very lucky to be here, to be on a warm dry train, and send out thoughts for the flooded families of the Midwest. To enjoy the beauty of the land around us. And the passengers. In this most flooded areas of Winona Wisconsin, you can find many Mennonite communities. We had a large number of them on the train with us. One young man interacted asked G if that was a cell phone. I worried that he wasn’t allowed to see it as G answered yes.

Left: Winona Station. Right: Fellow Passengers leaving the train.


  1. Oh, beautiful. I've been to the Wisconsin Dells, but never realized I could have gone by train!

    Do you know how much I envy you this trip?

  2. The photos are so beautiful. You picked a lovely time of year to travel across country....

  3. Red Wing! The Dells! Winona! My old stomping grounds! I still have some Red Wing pottery (sugar bowl). Great place!

  4. I have never been to those places that you depict so well. So much about America I don't know.

  5. What a great time of year to travel on a train, the photos are so beautiful. I think rocking to sleep on a train would be loverly.

  6. I love traveling with bloggers because they use words with their photos and I am not distracted by their eyes and their voice!

  7. You do a wonderful job of sharing your travels with us.

  8. Some of those photographs--especially the ones of the plains--are so beautiful it almost hurts to gaze at them. And gaze I must! So like watercolor paintings they are. Beautiful!

  9. ...oh and one more thing! I used to take those "shots" for my knee and hip. I found that the duration between them became shorter and shorter as time went by. I sure hope yours work better. Having problems walking for any reason is awful, and sometimes those able bodied around us just don't quite understand!


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George coming down Peter’s hall that’s lined with wood and artifacts from wonderful ocean liners of the past .             We ...