I thought I would post a couple of items from my trip.
Fri., Aug. 29(late): I should have known better than to rely on Mapquest for directions. I could have at least cross checked with AAA or Google maps. I knew as soon as I exited I-40 that I was in for trouble, and at about 2:30 am at that! I pulled off on a road where I saw an Exxon sign, but the station was closed. A car was parked near the pumps, engine idling and parking lights on. I had no choice but to lock up my Jeep and go ask for directions. I could have cried with relief when the driver rolled down the window and I saw that he and his passenger were wearing US Army uniforms. They consulted their GPS for what seemed like a long time (I was really lost), and then told me to follow them and they would take me to the station. I couldn't believe how far away I was, but they finally signaled where I should turn and I made it with about 20 minutes to spare. God bless the US Army! (When I told my oldest son this story he yelled at me for getting out of my car; he jokingly said "those guys weren't in the Army - they were dressed like military but were up to something". I said "Honey, they have the same haircut as you and they called me "Ma'am."
Sat., Aug. 30: I was disappointed that I didn't feel like doing much of anything while in DC today, but I was totally exhausted from the night before, so I spent most of the time just people-watching at Union Station. I finally boarded the train for Chicago and began to unwind in my sleeper car.
Sun, Aug. 31: I kept waking up last night with the lurching of the train, but it was wonderful to have a bed to sleep in and a good breakfast in the dining car.
Mon, Sep. 1: Happy Labor Day! I got out my new laptop last night and discovered that this train has no wi-fi. I was all set to update the blog but it will have to wait. I stepped off the train for some fresh air in Denver and got right back on because of the heavy smell of stale cigarette smoke. The conductor announces the stops where people can take a quick smoke break, but warns if anyone is caught smoking on the train they will be dropped off at the next stop. I've heard that they stick to this rule.
There are LOTS of RV's on the roads that sometimes parallel the train tracks. It's amazing the distinctions I can make when I see them now, as opposed to a few months ago when I just knew them all as "RV".
Tues. Sep 2: Yesterday the Rockies were awesome and today we will see the grandeur of the Sierra Nevada. My real favorite, however, will always be the lovely Appalachians.
Wed. Sep. 4: Left Sac yesterday morning after a wonderful and fun week with family and friends, and of course, the wedding of my son, Steven. The train had to detour through Feather River Canyon rather than by the Donner Pass, Reno, etc. It was a beautiful area and I intend to go back someday in my RV. There were a number of delays that set us back several hours from schedule, and it is almost certain that we will all miss our Chicago connections. I wish I could get home without delay as the closing for my house sale has been set up to the end of September, and that will not give me much time to clear everything out of the house. Not a thing I can do about it.
I finally arrived back in Greensboro on Sat night - actually Sunday morning at 1:30 pm. I didn't get home until about 4:00 and really felt exhausted, especially when I started to panic at all the things I need to do. My heart started pounding and I felt like my blood was racing! I probably could have called the paramedics but really hated to do that, as I had just picked up the dogs earlier at the kennel and they were stressed enough. So I took an aspirin, another dose of my blood pressure medicine, brought the phone to lay on the bedside table just "in case" and tried to relax my way out of it. I eventually was able to get back up but was so tired - what I really needed was a good night's sleep. I feel pretty good today except I know the pressure is really going to mount in the coming days. I've spent a big part of the day emptying a bookcase in the spare bedroom, making stacks to save in storage, take with me, or dispose of. I'm now down to working on the photos & albums, but I have so many loose photos I may have to sort them at a later date. Tomorrow I will go and try to find a place that sells moving boxes so that I can start packing everything up. It will all come together, eventually.