Report On Our Big Adventure—Entry #1

>> Thursday, April 1, 2010

Our Big Adventure began Sunday, March 14th.  The day was spent taking care of all of the last minute details.  We left home about 5:45 P.M. and drove to Bowling Green, KY.  Darryl went along to drive our van back home.  Our Greyhound bus was scheduled for 7:40 P.M., however, it was running late.  Another bus came and we were told we could take it to Louisville but we would have to transfer to the bus we were waiting on to go on to Indianapolis.  We decided to just wait.  Finally about 8:30 we boarded our bus, a very crowded bus.  We were not able to get seats together.  I was one row back and across the aisle from Connie.

All passengers had to exit the bus in Louisville and we were told we would be there for about 30 minutes.  About an hour later we resumed our journey.  The bright side was that quite a number of the passengers had to transfer at Louisville and the bus was not quite so crowded.  Also, as we were re-boarding we got to board before any new passengers got on and were able to find seats together.  Even with all of the delays we arrived at the Indianapolis bus and train station about on time, about 2:00 A.M. 

This photo is of the bus we rode to Indianapolis.  The picture was taken at the Indianapolis station after we arrived.  The side doors are open so luggage could be unloaded.

We had purchased our Amtrak tickets on-line and had gotten only a confirmation.  We took this to the Amtrak ticket counter and obtained our tickets for the entire trip.  Then it was wait once again.  The Hoosier State train #851 was scheduled to depart at 6:30 A.M., but, it was also running late.  Instead of arriving at Chicago’s Union Station at 10:35 A.M. we arrived about 11:15. 

This did not present any problem for us as we were not scheduled to depart on the Empire Builder until 2:15 P.M.  Our wait wasn’t quite as long as we anticipated.  They began boarding senior citizens, handicapped and families about 45 minutes prior to departure time.  The train is made up of two trains, train #7 going to Seattle and train #27 going to Portland.  The train is split into two separate trains at Spokane, WA.  Since we were going to Portland we were in the rear section, actually the next to the last car.

IMG_1827  This is a photo of our car taken shortly after boarding.

IMG_1833 Connie settling in for the cross country trip.

IMG_1832 The trains enter and leave Union Station underground.  This picture was taken as we began to move.  The Chicago River in the foreground and the Chicago Sun Times Building as seen from our seats.

The day was cloudy and a bit overcast most of the day on Monday, March 15th, as we travelled from Indy to Chicago and as we headed toward Wisconsin.  But, shortly after getting into Wisconsin the clouds disappeared and we had sun the rest of the afternoon.

IMG_1835 We had station stops at Glenview, IL, Milwaukee,

WI, Columbus, WI, Portage, WI and here at Wisconsin Dells.  The photo above was taken just after pulling away from the station and as we crossed the Wisconsin River.  Connie and I had visited the Dells several times in past years so this was a familiar sight.

Shortly after the next station stop at Tomah, WI we went through our first tunnel of the trip, a 1,350 foot long tunnel.  The photo below was taken as we approached the end and a bit of outside light could be seen.

IMG_1837 As we neared La Crosse, WI and crossed into Minnesota we ran out of daylight.  Here is a picture I took of the sunset.

IMG_1841 I’ll continue the report of our Big Adventure in my next post.


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