Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Railroading Across the Great Divide

How did you spend your New Year's Eve? Many were partying til the wee hours of midnight and beyond. But not this troupe. We chose to purchase 4 Amtrak tickets and take a little jaunt on the Missouri River Run. This is a daily route that travels from Kansas City to St. Louis. We boarded in Sedalia and rode to St. Louis in a little under 3 hours (one way). And another 3 hours back.

So what influenced us to partake is such an excursion? A few factors were involved. One of the biggest is that we'd never taken a train ride before; not counting the amusement park trains. Or in my husband's case, when he hitched a ride on a freight train at the age of 13 or so. He does not wish for me to romanticize this fact as there were still hobos at the time and he could have had a very bad result. And his mother doesn't even know about it. (So, yes, it still matters in your 40's if Mom finds out.)

So this legitimate train ride was very enlightening. The most disturbing part is the lack of baggage checking. Yes, my retired-narcotics-officer husband was the first to pick up on this. He noticed a couple of familiar faces getting off the train, backpacks in hand, eager to avoid him. Imagine that?! (his reputation still follows him) Just for the record, we would Not have tried to play the part of vigilante or sheriff's deputy........unless??? We're human of course.

Another enlightening part of the ride was the dining car. It's not like in the movies. A little counter on one end with a person taking your order, microwaving it if needed, and taking your money. The. End.
Finding Gluten-Free was pretty difficult. Lucky for us, we did our homework and took some picnic items along. But my youngest and I let curiosity get the better of us and so we ventured 3 cars ahead to "see what it looked like". In short, you'd get a better choice from Quik Trip or whatever your local convenience store is called. Not impressed.

The positives:
*You could barely hear the horn. Surprising as I remember the days when trains traveled behind my home and it was most definitely heard inside my house.(before the rail was abandoned and made into a bike trail)
*The conductors were super nice
*The view was very pretty, even in the dead of winter.
*I learned that along certain parts of the Mighty Mo, houses stand on stilts 15 feet off the ground. Quite a sight to see a mobile home on poles. To each his own I guess.
*I had nearly 6 whole hours of crochet time. Only yarn-aholics will relate.

So in short, if my daughters decide to move away and I don't want to drive, take a bus or plane, train travel is an option.
Just make sure to sit close to the exit and don't plan on a meal like momma's.

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