United States
Town of Fishkill

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    • Day64

      Lake Shore Limited to Chicago

      June 29, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

      So begins my epic journey around the USA by Amtrak trains. Boarded the Lake Shore Limited after its due departure time from a very crowded Penn Station where many trains faced delays or cancellation due to signalling failure north of New York. We were lucky, we got away only 20 minutes late. Travelling by train in the USA is a very different experience to Japan.

      A leisurely pace up along the Hudson River for the first 2 hours through some lovely countryside full of big houses high up among the trees.

      It's a totally full train but then it's approaching the long weekend of the July 4th holiday which falls on a Tuesday this year. I quess I'm going to need to get used to full trains over the next few days of travel. Not too bad though, the chairs are big and comfortable recline a long way and have loads of legroom.

      Luckily my seat mate for this 18 hr journey is a small Chinese guy and not an enormous black woman. Hopefully my luck holds:-)

      The Amtrak male staff all sport mirrored shades above the peak of thier caps, smartly trimmed beards and a certain swagger. Seems like everyone in uniform in the US these days think they are a special forces badass. Speaking of which the presence of uniformed troops with sidearm and armed cops are everywhere in the stations and on the streets. In NYC the there where cop cars and motorcycle cops on pretty much every intersection in the city.

      There are also US flags everywhere. I havn't seen so many flags since Turkey; I guess that says something about the nationalism of the militarised state.

      After 3 hours of following the Hudson River on the east side we reach Albany and join up with the other half of the train (which comes from Boston) before heading across the river and west to Lake Otari where we will follow the lake shore and then Lake Erie around to Chicago. Most of that will be done in the dark so I doubt if there will much to see. Before that I have reserved dinner in the dining car at 8pm.

      After a stop in Albany that was supposed to be 20mins but ended up being an hour and 20 mins we are finally underway. My dinner reservation is now 9.15pm not 8. Definately not like Japan the train travel here in the good ol'us of a.

      The Dining car is an experience not to be repeated. The food was fine it just took 30 minutes to arrive, the service was surly and terrible and the company at my table truly awful. Stuck with a drunk crazy lady who has spent the whole trip just walking up and down the train pulling her luggage and talking to herself and a totally stoned young hippy with about 10 festival armbands on his wrist. They are both drinking screwdrivers and mouthing off. Later the next day the crazy lady would be thrown off the train escorted by the local police.

      Stopped in Utica at 10pm. Lovely train and carriages in the station, the Adriondack Scenic Railroad - Lake Placid, nice.

      11pm and half a moon rises over the city of Syracuse.on we travel along the shore of Lake Onondaga and westwards, ever westwards. 2.30am Cleveland Ohio, 5.30am Elyria, 7am Sandusky. Then sunrise over Lake Ernie... Muted and grey but sunrise non the less. At 7.30we pull into Toledo.

      Endless fields of green corn and yellow wheat as far as the eye can see. Interspersed with silos and classic rust red sheds with 4 part roofs. Blue sky and puffy white clouds. Oh and American flags everywhere; even the graveyards have little American flags fluttering on most of the gravestones.

      While Amtrak is a national system it just leases track time from regional railroads so invariably freight trains get priority. Like now here in South Bend it can mean the train just sits for ages waiting for the tracks to free up.

      Suns up, the sky is blue and its hot hot hot as we roll into Chicago at just over 3 hours late. I'm looking forward to exploring the city and its stunning skyline.
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      Traveler

      Is this a river? Looks like an ocean to me.

      7/2/17Reply
      Terry Borchers

      Stunning city views Tim. After reading your comments - better you than me riding that train me thinks :-) I've often considered such a trip . . . but now? . . . well, we'll see what the next train segment adventure holds . . . he he he

      7/3/17Reply
       
    • Day5

      Beacon

      March 25, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C

      OH MY DIA!
      This morning Craig and I did an early, little shop at the Food Works and Drug World. We were all pretty excited when it started to snow. Only flurries - but wow.
      Then we set out for Beacon. It is another town about 15 minutes north from Cold Spring, which was recommended by one of the shop owners here to Josy & Louise. The town looked pretty on the Internet and it has the Dia Beacon art gallery – recommended by Thelma. Well, Beacon was closed and quite boring looking! We took ages to find a place for coffee and eventually decided on Big Mouth Cafe as recommended by a local. Coffee was best so far – although overall it has been pretty bad in USA. AFTER THIS and a look over the Hudson River, we drove to the Dia gallery. What an interesting and challenging place! It was mainly installations in big rooms – like the Guggenheim in Bilbao but different. It had some similar pieces like the Richard Senna giant steel structures you can walk through. Some new amazing halls of the red and white ‘roadways’ – all mathematically calculated. My favourite I believe was ‘TRIBUTE TO THE SQUARE” where various rooms of white gauze-like walls had lights and openings which made you feel like you were in and out of a mirror – fascinating. Some were strange but overall it was most enjoyable. Nicholas pretended to be bored, Tony was hilarious. We went back to Cold Spring and had an enjoyable lunch of seafood chowder, salad, burgers etc. We really like this village.Read more

      Traveler

      Broken Glass sculpture

      3/25/18Reply
       
    • Day37

      Breakneck trail

      September 9, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

      I just downloaded alltrails and found this hike. It was my first time climbing up the mountain. I didn't make it all the way to the top, because I couldn't find my way up. 700 feet is still a good distance up in the air. Pretty view.Read more

    • Day37

      Exploring Beacon

      September 9, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

      I went looking for another trail to hike and came across this pool. Yes it was closed, but it was so hot out and no one was around. I jumped over the fence and cooled off. Very relaxing and of coarse I'm always pool/beach ready. I headed into town and checked out the quaint neighborhood.Read more

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