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Discussion: Next time take the Train!

in: matzah ball; matzah ball > 2016-03-08

Mar 9, 2016 12:03 PM # 
Too much lonely driving? Lose the car. I've been out in much of that area in the past. Amtrak, my lightly-loaded bike, and a big jug of water. You can hop-scotch between Amtrak stations. And conductors are very accommodating to ticketed passengers when bringing a bike aboard and storing fully-loaded it in the smoking lounge for short hops.

But I enjoyed 'living' your trip with you vicariously. Thanks for the travelogue. Welcome home!
Mar 9, 2016 1:18 PM # 
you just need a travel buddy! split the driving.
Mar 9, 2016 7:37 PM # 
Hell yes you need rest up and get back on that horse. Anyway sounded like a great trip. Yes and travel/ training buddy would be nice or maybe a masseuse.
Mar 9, 2016 10:18 PM # 
matzah ball:
Chi, amtrak has tightened up their rules. not sure you could get away w that now...though i have noticed in the past the conductors seemed to have a different standard. Well for a week I did have my son as a travel buddy (and brought all his camping gear) so the whole thing would have been pretty difficult by train...but another plan could have perhaps incorporated the train lines. I agree, an epic road trip w a fellow runner would be quite convivial.
Mar 10, 2016 8:21 PM # 
By the way Chi, some people actually like getting in their car and driving. Even by your self too. See the open highway and listen to whatever you want on the radio ..... Pure freedom!!!
Stop wherever, run bike wherever. With a hybrid and cheap gas, time is your only limit.
Mar 10, 2016 10:35 PM # 
matzah ball:
hate to say it, but I think a hybrid car beats out a plane ride in the ecological department. With a passenger, I think even less efficient cars do.
Mar 11, 2016 12:12 AM # 
Well I was trying to sell the TRAIN. Not some high-speed non-stop jet.

And if you plug in a Prius, or a flight from St Louis to Albuqueque, NM and get exactly the same tonnage of carbon discharge.

But if you do the same trip on a train, you get only 10% of the carbon burned and discharged into the atmosphere as with a Prius or plane.

So you could do that trip by train for the next TEN equal the carbon you just discharged into the atmosphere in the last 30 days. Welcome home.
Mar 11, 2016 2:40 AM # 
matzah ball:
then why dont you take the train to california instead of flying. Welcome home, Pardner.
Mar 11, 2016 1:06 PM # 
Well I wouldn't...and I wouldn't expect wear a 'hair-shirt' for the environment. I'd expect BOTH of us to do as we prefer, with an eye towards the environment.

But you were the one who began by stating that you wouldn't do that trip again. And that it was good to be home. I raised the question that it might have been all that driving, rather than the trip itself, that exhausted you. I'd be exhausted too by all that driving! But I've also gone down there by train...and found it very enjoyable...walking around, having a beer in the Obsevation car, talking with women, enjoying the scenery.... Especially if I have my bike along, so I can do some loops and point-to-point short trips.

The 10:1 carbon savings really wasn't part of the decision....just coincidental icing on the cake. Never even knew the difference was that drastic, until I looked it up on that Carbon Footprint site to make my post above. Maybe I WILL take the train next time I go to Californai....and talk Sari into taking train, steamships and train to visit her parents in Finland this summer!
Mar 11, 2016 2:56 PM # 
matzah ball:
The driving was hard, but there were other factors that made it tough, mentally the length of it was difficult since it was kind of a retreat away from most accustomed daily routines.

The train is more pleasant than driving for sure...until you spend a couple of nights on the observation car floor (unless you have are willing to part with the extra $ for a sleeper - for instance right now a trip from st. louis to sacramento in mid april is $187 regular fare, and $958 for a sleeper),

and until you realize the only places to run are the infrequent 10 min stops on train station platforms. I always brought my bike broken down in a suitcase since most routes these days do not allow complete bikes, which made for interesting gear hauling decisions if you just wanted to take a break from the journey, or catch a bus somewhere.

I'd be interested in steamship info to Europe...let me know if you run across any budget options, to visit my uncle in Germany while he's still around.

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