Oregon to Pennsylvania and return

Old Jun 5th, 2022, 04:56 PM
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Oregon to Pennsylvania and return

I was considering naming this Planes, Trains, Automobile and buses. I drove down to the Chemult Amtrak station the evening of May 24 (Tuesday). The southbound Coast Starlight arrived about a half hour late.
I did not have a seatmate so I could curl up and sleep on two seats and even use my CPAP. The train arrived early (5:59AM) in Sacramento. I hiked with my bags down past the capitol building to my favorite breakfast place in Sacramento: The Fox & Goose. I was waiting at an outside table when they opened at 7. When I was done with breakfast I called janisj to see if we could meet for an early lunch. It was high school graduation day at the Golden1 center so she had a bit of a problem finding parking. After lunch I took the YOLO bus out to SMF. I hung out at the airport and did a virtual geocache of the rabbit sculpture.
I then took my first (and second) Spirit Airlines flight. SMF-LAS-ORD. I landed at O'Hare about 6AM Central Time (Thursday). From O'Hare I took my first ride on the CTA El (blue line) to the Clinton stop which was suggested as being close to Chicago Union Station. The train doors dropped me at the foot of the stairs. I saw no signs for an elevator or escalator so a younger stronger guy helped me get my 38 lb suitcase up about a hundred steps. Once I reached the street level I walked north on Clinton to Jackson Blvd. Instead of going into Union Station, I headed west on Jackson to Lou Mitchell's for a great breakfast. From there I headed back to Union Station where I hung out for many hours in the Great Hall. I had my lunch upstairs at Jersey Mike's subs.
A little after 6PM, the Capitol Limited was ready to leave the station. I lucked out and had a seat downstairs all the way to Pittsburgh. I had to wait to pick up my checked bag at PGH before heading upstairs to board the Amtrak Pennsylvanian to Harrisburg. We were about an hour late at Lewistown but we had one more surprise before we got to Harrisburg. We had a tornado alert and the dispatcher had the train stop before the big bridge across the Susquehanna River. At least we got into HBG early enough that I could get my Hertz rental car before the 5PM close.
I had a motel room reserved near Montoursville so I had the chance to get a quick shower before I headed to Wellsboro to meet some of my high school classmates (class of 1967). I drove back to Montoursville for the night since there were no more rooms in Wellsboro or Mansfield.
I drove back up to Wellsboro and spent the day finding a few geocaches including a puzzle, an Earthcache (in the cemetery where my grandmother is buried) and a regular geocache.
There were about 30 of my classmates and one widow of a classmate at the Saturday evening event at the Wellsboro Social Club. I promised them that I'd come back in 5 years.
On Sunday morning I did my laundry in Mifflinburg. I then went and visited some of my church and work friends that I had not seen in 5+ years.
On Monday (Memorial Day) I went to the Susquehanna Valley Mall and saw Top Gun Maverick before heading over to Sunbury to my oldest work friend who was working at the PA Bureau of Forestry when i started in July of 1969. I spent the night at Bill's before heading back to turn in the rental car before 1PM Tuesday. I only had about an hour after I got back to the Harrisburg Amtrak station before the westbound Pennsylvanian arrived. The Pennsylvanian got to Pittsburgh a little after 8PM so a lot of people sat in PGH for about 4 hours until the Capitol Limited arrived at midnight to take us back to Chicago.
I checked both bags from PGH to CHI. When we arrived, I headed over to Lou Mitchell's (founded 1923). for breakfast. I then walked back to Union Station to pick up my bags. I then walked east on Jackson Blvd. to the CTA Jackson stop and rode the blue line back to O'Hare. Jackson has escalators and an elevator to get down to the platform.
It took me awhile to find out that Southwest and others fly from Terminal 5 so I had another train ride out there. The Southwest flights took me back to Sacramento by way of Denver. I took the bus back to downtown Sacramento and spent many hours waiting for the late northbound Coast Starlight (arrived SAC at 2:20AM). I was only 2 hours late getting home.

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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 04:50 AM
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Tom, thanks for another adventure.. perhaps the mods will give it a TR icon if you ask.
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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 04:51 AM
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I see that it has been marked.
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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 04:58 AM
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Thanks Tom!

Sounds like a fun trip; glad you are getting to travel the US by train as I know you enjoy that as much as I do. Iíve yet to run into trouble due to tornados on train rides but am glad you made it into Harrisburg safely and in a reasonable time. I understand some Amtrak coach and sleeper routes have upgraded the seating; I am planning on doing some Amtrak trips this summer too, so am curious to see some of the changes.

best wishes

Daniel
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