in that travel sleep not quite asleep but aware of your surroundings,
at 7am Mountain Time with a Station stop and the announcement for
breakfast. It is -27F outside right now -33C or just under. The
scenery is farmland and hills spotted with the odd tree here and
there. We have seen 4 pheasants as we go by. It is much like the
Alberta scenery. We are now passing Bainville which has a bunch of
pump jacks scattered in the field and a cemetery. The sun is now
cresting the hills and spreading a warm glow on everything despite the
We went for breakfast in the Dining car. They called our names and
since our car is at the front of the train and the dining car is near
the back it took a long time to get there. They even did a second
calling for our names, we were only one car away at that point. Jon
had the Continental Breakfast with oatmeal and a biscuit and I had the
french toast. We sat with another young couple going to Detroit to
visit his parents.
Just out of Minot the operating crew ran out of hours. They are only
allowed to be working for 12 hours and not a mintue more, so as i
update this note we are waiting for the "dog catch" crew (Engineers
and Conductors) to arrive. I guess that's what happens when your train
is 14-15 hours late. We figure we'll be into Chicago around 7am on the
22nd and then we (us and Amtrak's Customer Relations desk in Union
Station) need to figure out what to do from there.
We are haning out in our room watching the scenery and playing games.
We would go to the Sightseer Lounge, but one of them is being used for
extra Coach passengers and the other one is really cold. I guess there
are advantages to being close to the engine when it is so cold
outside. When we walk through the cars on the way to the Dining Car
the temperature seems to drop the farther away from the engine we are.
We have seen more pheasants and grouse along the sides of the tracks.
The scenery still looks like prairie, but there are a few more trees
now, most likely planted by the original farmers.
The crew is now changed out and we are stopped in Minot to pick up
passengers and unthaw heating systems and water systems. Jon is hoping
that they'll get the showers running.
If you get this that means the freight train has passed and I'll get
the signal back from the houses across the street.