Sleepless in Seattle?

June 7, 2021
June 7, 2021 Shevonne

Sleepless in Seattle?

Not quite, although after three days of living and sleeping (first in coach and then in bunk beds)  on two Amtrak trains we are ready for our last bit of luxury before we begin cycling east. The past few days were full of pleasure and the unexpected. We chatted with other travelers, were exposed to exquisite scenery, provided care to a needy passenger and fell in line with the regimented Amtrak rules. We had our share of microwaved TV dinners ( because of the pandemic they have not been preparing fresh meals ), coped with no running water in the bathrooms for several hours and maintained our composure when we discovered we had purchased train tickets to Chicago on the Cardinal through Virginia, West Virginia and then back up through Kentucky, Ohio and Indianapolis (a 24 hour trip) rather than the much quicker route through Maryland and Pennsylvania. 

We quickly learned about shift changes, smoke breaks, how to take a shower in a moving train  and when a conductor threatens to throw someone off the train, they mean business. In Charleston, WV, a man sitting directly across from us, was handcuffed and removed from the train by three local police officers when he refused to stop badgering the conductor and continued to escalate. Unfortunately, he left his partner to fend for herself. She was terrified without him, had no money and held on tight to a teddy bear from Shoney’s. We soon recognized she had some cognitive challenges and everyone in the train car stepped up to help her get through the next several hours. 


Once on the Empire Builder in Chicago, we secured a roomette, all of four feet by seven feet. Cramped but doable as long as our panniers stayed in a luggage area, this train offered us private sleeping quarters and an observation car equipped with swivel chairs, glass ceilings and windows. People played cards, drank soda and beer and kept their eyes on the ever changing scenery. Pat and I were introduced to much of North Dakota’s landscape, the Rocky Mountains throughout Glacier National Park and the raging rapids in the state of Washington.

It’s a chilly day here in Seattle but the sun is shining and we are taking some time to recharge and repack. We plan on leaving Wednesday morning on the Great American Rail Trail. All aboard.

Shevonne and Pat


Follow us as we spin our wheels.

P.S.  A special shout out to Sue and Bill Zekas who threw us a bon voyage gathering before we left the Mad River Valley. It was a truly special evening.






Comments (17)

  1. Leah Laffey

    Such pretty scenery. Sounds fun already. Yellow in memory of Henry Clyde Walp as well. Love Leah

  2. Pat

    I love the tale so far!!! In my early 20’s, I took the train from Cumberland MD to Monterey California and back. Out tge southern route, back the Northern route, through ND, Glacier etc. I had a stalker after me and he got kicked off train!!!! I had no sleeper car but it was not crowded when I slept, except for the stalker!! Proud of you!!

    • Shevonne

      That’s quite the story you have shared. I guess we have now both witnessed how folks get booted from the train.

  3. Such a great first installment! I feel like I am there on the train with you- keep it coming! Journey on, youngsters! xo

  4. Peter & Loretta Menkes

    We’re enjoying your journey! Hope you escaped the heat wave we had in the Valley today (92 degrees). Love your TripTik! Happy Spinning.

    • Shevonne

      Peter and Loretta,

      Much cooler here. Many businesses have not returned and because of the pandemic, there is presently no fish throwing in Seattle.

  5. Bobby-Jo H Salls

    Journaling all of these moments in your adventure are fun for all of us and will help you to always remember even the little things. Love it! Stay safe out there!

    • Shevonne

      Thanks. Nice to hear from you. Found a hundred folks in line this morning – why? Apparently so they could say they purchased a latte at the very first Starbucks. Hmmm.

  6. David Morganwalp

    An eventful train trip for sure. Now I know what to expect when I make my train trip later this year.

  7. Heidi

    Our journey of your journey has been great so far! Yes, keep it coming! I’m in Chicago heading back to VT after a wonderful WI trip. Reminded me of our times at Stevens Point Wellness Conferences. Have a wonderful trek! Stay safe!

  8. Nancy green

    Wow! Sounds like the start of a most memorable journey! Envy you both for having the drive to do it. Will keep you up to date on Vermont although Pat I’m sure you have other things to think about, like which side of the road to ride on! Take care!🚴‍♂️🚴‍♀️

    • Shevonne

      Hi Nancy:

      Thanks! It will be memorable. And, maybe I will ride facing traffic when we’re on the roads.


  9. Ron Lewis

    Loving the sharing of this epic adventure!! Keep safe and have oodles of fun!!

  10. Sue Zekas

    Great writing and beautiful pictures – makes us feel like we are right there with you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *