July 15th, 2014

Pointless Arrow

Checking In From On Board

I've spent much of the past two days with very limited connectivity, mostly consisting of taking photos and posting them from my Twitter account (@KevinStandlee) when the phone could raise a signal. But this afternoon the train is in places that are close enough to cell phone towers that I could get my computer online again. I've put the photos I've taken so far in their own Flickr Album.

The train is running more than eight hours late, after a six-plus-hour late departure from Oakland, slow orders and maintenance along the line, and no real way to make up time. We'll be lucky to get to our hotel in Chicago (two blocks from Union Station) by midnight tonight. In a sense, I sort of wish I could have guaranteed that this would happen, because I could have then booked our trip to Detroit via Chicago as a continuous ticket with a Chicago connection. That would have cost the same number of points as the trip to Chicago alone rather than being a separate purchase. Then, when Amtrak failed to make the connection, they would (I hope) have put us up in a hotel for the night and sent us out on tomorrow morning's Wolverine to Detroit. (As it is, we bought a hotel night tonight in Chicago and purchased the Chicago-Detroit leg separately instead of using points.) However, you (a) can't guarantee a sufficiently late arrival to score the free hotel night and (b) there's always a chance Amtrak might have decided instead to put us on a bus to Detroit instead, and if there's one thing we can't stand, it's buying a train ticket to be put on a bus.