So Day Two began, well, at the tail end of Day One really.
We pulled into San Antonio at around 11pm.
The hotbed of activity that is the San Antonio Amtrak station ’round midnight.
And there we sat…for nearly 4 hours. Apparently we were supposed to hook up with (quite literally) another train coming down from Chicago, and they were running ridiculously behind.
At around 3am, we began rolling again. Which in turn caused sleepus interruptus for the remainder of the night. This was exacerbated by a cacophony of snores, farts, voices talking way too loudly on cell phones, and several jackwagons who don’t know what the term, “please use headphones” means.
I’d fall sleep for about 20 minutes, then get woken up. Fall back asleep. Rinse. Repeat.
All night long.
I’m pretty sure they cast this commercial with the people on my train.
And so I eventually gave up at around 6am, and wandered off to the dining car toward the promise of coffee.
And it was there.
And it was good.
While having breakfast, we passed over…a river. (I don’t recall which one.)
Afterward, I came back to a find our train car completely empty and smelling vaguely like the bottom of an outdoor Diaper Genie in August. The scrambled eggs and bacon I’d just eaten signaled a quick retreat before I performed the “dad ninja” maneuver and covered my nose with my shirt.
An Amtrak rep wandered over and explained that the bathrooms downstairs had blocked up, and that I should “go back a couple cars and just find a seat anywhere.”
So I did. And, quite a while later, we arrived at El Paso.
How very welcoming. They do love their fences down here.
Honestly, I’m a fan of El Paso. There’s a cool vibe in that city that I’ve always dug. Back when I was driving between Houston and Utah 4 or 5 times a year, I always stopped to stay the night there. Cool place.
But we weren’t to stay long. We were still trying to make up time from the San Antonio meetup, and so off we went, into New Mexico/Arizona.
Or perhaps toward the dual suns of Tatooine.
Ah. Moisture vaporators.
A little while later, we arrived in
Tosche Station Tucson, which holds the distinction of having the coolest Amtrak station I encountered on this entire trip.
They had a real restaurant, with outdoor tables and candles…and beer.
I had a “Kilt Lifter” from the local Four Peaks Brewery, which was really quite good.
Alas, after about 45 minutes we were on the move again, and I attempted to sleep…again. And was met with roughly the same success. 30 minutes asleep to every 15 minutes awake…from 9pm – 4:30am. At some point the toilets backed up again, but this time they just left us to wallow in our own crapulence until we rolled into the station in LA at 5:45am.
I didn’t get any pictures of that because I was a bit on the delirious side. But I did, however, snap a picture of the world’s worst coffee…
Seriously. I cannot fathom how people drink this bile-flavored swill.
At which point I picked up my bag, rented my 2018 Chevy Cruze, and began the second leg of the trip…the drive north from Los Angeles to Pacific Grove.
And that, will have to be a tale for next time.