Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Empire Builder to Seattle - day 1

The lounge at Chicago was much larger and nicer than the version in Washington. Numerous long distance trains leave from Chicago and there was quite a crowd of people who were taking the California Zephyr which leaves a few minutes before our Empire Builder.

The lounge had a selection of salad ingredients which was refreshing after the hot walk. At noon a bar opened with a free wine tasting which was appreciated. I spent my time uploading photos for the blog since there was a good internet connection.

About 45 minutes before the train was due to leave we were instructed to head out to the train. It really is dismal down in the cavern.

The train left on time. Unfortunately our room was on the southern side of the train which made it difficult to take decent photos through the glare of the window. We also discovered that the internet was not working. Very disappointing.

It took quite a while to get out of Chicago since it is an enormous city.

Plenty of corn which we see a lot of further into the journey.

Soon we reached Milwaukee

Marianne enjoying the glare and the heat of the sun. It became quite warm in the roomette even with air-conditioning. We left the door open to get some cooler air.

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you won the half billion dollar lotto. This inspired me to add a private rail carriage to the list. More about this carriage here.

Another private train.

It looked like two people were inside and I wondered where it would be going.

One of the numerous lakes west of Milwaukee.

Vita Plus makes feed for cows and pigs and is based in Lake Mills.

Your typical quiet street in a small country town. The only excitement is the train as it blows its whistle while rumbling along. And yes, there is a lot of whistle blowing since the driver does it for every street crossing. Fortunately it is not very loud in the sleeping cars and you don't notice it too much after a while.

It was very difficult to get even semi decent photos in the afternoon sun. Most of the photos I took were discarded or heavily cropped. 

Traffic stopped while the train loaded more passengers.

This train is a major form of public transport for many people. Most were probably in coach class going to some nearby city such as Minneapolis.

Never heard of it.

It is actually quite pleasant rolling along watching the scenery go by. It would have been even better on the north side of the train.

Unusual fence. 

The station at La Crosse which is on the Mississippi River.

The Black River which converges with the Mississippi here.

There are several islands here at La Crosse so you cross several bridges.

We headed off to a much better dinner than the dinner the prior night. We both had the chicken breast. Darkness fell soon after.

Since I had so much trouble getting up and down into the top bunk, Marianne kindly volunteered.

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