After hearing an announcement over the speakers that we had stopped during the night for a broken rail and were running even further behind schedule, I figured I had slept – I have no memory of stopping. At 8am Central Time, less than 10 hours after leaving Denver, we are running 3.5 hours late – my layover in Chicago is only 3 hours. Awesome. My seat neighbor turned out to be a morning chatter and wanted to know all about my night’s sleep and how I was feeling. She at least seemed to be in a good enough mood to indicate that I didn’t snore in her ear all night, so that was a relief. I went to search for coffee and ended up in the dining car having a seated breakfast. This was not my intention, but was pleasantly surprised to find that they served grits. Of course, I guess it’s not THAT unexpected to have a corn product in Nebraska.
I didn’t hang out with the puppies in the morning, but I did run across them on occasion as they strayed from car to car. The one thing I did notice is that the puppy called Flowers found a gal-pal. Another chick in the Denver station was sitting in our area and was chatting with us as we waited for our train. I think she re-charged her phone three times while we were waiting. I’m just going to say that I called it last night in the lounge car, because this morning as I was making my way back to my car from breakfast, Flowers and Safeway Chick (she works at Safeway) were cuddled up in neighboring seats. However, according to Microwave, they did not make use of the larger changing room/bathroom on the lower level of the car.
Writing this in retrospect after knowing that I’m going miss my connection in Chicago, I will say that the ONE cool thing about the train is the ability to meet different people. Other than the puppies I met in the Denver station, I have met a variety of other travelers including a Boulder family (sadly the youngest son had left his suitcase of stuffed animals at home), a physicist researching at Berkeley, a person “in trade” from the Bay Area whom it took me half of lunch to figure out if he was male or female, a couple from the Denver area in which the boyfriend is getting a degree in earth sciences, and a few international students with whom I would love to vent about the fall of the American rail system. And I must say that I was quite proud to be able to identify Ohio on a US map – I’m not sure I would have been able to do this 3 months ago – but with the states color-coded and Cleveland staring me in the face, I succeeded!
And now, for the sake of my sanity, I think I need to stop writing before this turns into a bitchfest, as we sit stopped on the tracks, 5 hours behind schedule, behind a freight train, with rail work ahead (metal contracts when its cold? no shit?). I’m going to now continue watching Mamma Mia! with the hopes that Pierce Brosnan singing will make me giggle.