Day 6 - Fri 14 April 06
Up at 07:30, breakfast at Em's and out the door at 08:15, retraced my steps down 15 to interstate 66, and then onward to Charlottesville. The weather is overcast, and rain is forecast. Got to Charlottesville at just gone 11:00, and returned the car with no problems, and they dropped back at the Amtrak station.
It's raining now, so I'm staying in the station and trying to work out my next steps, and I've decided (painfully) that I can't afford the time to go all the way to Portland to get the Empire Builder back to Chicago - it would take four days, and for no good reason. So I'm going to take the Southern Chief or the Zephyr back east to save time.
It's stopped raining, so I've dumped my stuff at the station and walked up to the University of Virginia to see the inside of the Rotunda, and impressive it is too. Then it was back into town on the free shuttle bus to use the Internet at the Library. Then found a local bank and cashed a couple of travellers cheques (No bank holiday here!)
Six days into this trip, and this is my first sleeper train, it's just like the one I caught from Chicago into Albany two years ago. Reading the details on the train, it seems it's going to pass through a tunnel under the Blue Ridge mountains, so I will have been over them and under them. There are orchards in blossom at the bottom of the hills, but higher up the forest starts.
The disadvantage of these carriages is that you can only see out of one side of the train. Supper at 18:40 I was sitting next to Jim who is coming back from DC to Chicago with his partner who doesn't fly *at all*. I had the pasta and apple pie, washed down with a nice glass of red wine. Jim had the apple pie with cheese (yes, cheese). It appears that it used to be apple pie, cheese and ice cream, and that over the years the ice cream was dropped.
Back for a shower, and a first - I washed my tee shirt on the train, it's my super fast drying Rohan one, so it will be interesting to see if it is dry by tomorrow. In bed by 21:00, ready for breakfast at 07:00!
NextView my route through the USA here