That is, ever since I was a boy, the sound of a train whistle has beckoned me. But it’s stronger than that. Think of Odysseus who had his men tie him to the ship’s mast so he wouldn’t follow the seductive song of the Sirens.
Those low, mournful blasts of train whistles have been like that for me, especially when heard alone and in the early morning hours. Don’t know what makes me want to follow. Maybe there’s something (pick one) beautiful, adventurous or magical that lies both along and at the end of those tracks.
Which is why last Sunday morning a train whistle set me thinking. What if Charlotte and I saw the U. S. this summer from the top deck of an Amtrak Superliner?
A few hours online, and I began to sketch an itinerary.
We’ll begin by driving to Albuquerque to meet the Southwest Chief on its way from Chicago to Los Angeles. Will board at 4:45 p.m. and arrive in LA at 8:15 a.m. Then, we catch the northbound Starlight Coast, which leaves at 3:30 p.m. and arrives almost 30 hours later in Seattle.
I’m thinking we’ll take a three or four day break there, rent a car and discover some of the Pacific Northwest.
Then, back to the Emerald City to catch the Empire Builder to Chicago, about a two-day trip. From Chicago, we end where we started by boarding the Southwest Chief, which will get us to Albuquerque in a little over 24 hours.
All told, we’ll travel 5,742 miles in just short of five days (plus another four off the train).
Will keep you up.