Jan 28 to Jan 31 - Train ride across the USA:
After some last minute packing, Joey and I hopped in Cory’s car to head off on our round the world adventure. We were supposed to catch our train at the station in Tyrone, PA. In Tyrone, PA we learned a little about Amtrak. Apparently, the “station” where we “check in” and “check our bags” consisted of an unmarked slab of outdoor concrete near the train tracks. After asking many locals we finally conceded to believe that they weren’t kidding and we all just stared and laughed and laughed. When the train never arrived, we called Amtrak and the situation got slightly less funny when they said that the train was running 3 hrs late. Cory and Ryan had some Friday night partying to get to so they left Joey and I in at Burley’s bar in sweet ol’ Tyrone, PA.
We awkwardly walked into Burley’s and we were welcomed with open arms and Yuenglings. The locals were super friendly and the staff and the patrons took care of us really well. Around 10 PM we left the bar and I froze my little plastic butt off standing on that aforementioned slab of concrete. The train finally showed up around 10:30 and we were off. The train ride was great – we started the adventure by blasting Kate is Great by the Bouncing Souls and everything felt so far away.
We arrived in Chicago early the next day and switched trains. The next leg was a 48 hr trip on the Southwest Chief from Chicago to Los Angeles. We hung out with 4 Amish guys, two Mexican guys, a dude who looked like Jim Carrey and wore a train conductors hat the entire ride, a dude who talked like Christopher Walkin, a heroin addict on his way to rehab, and some guy who sounded like he was completely drunk and after about 30 hrs with him I realized he was just like that all the time. We rolled across Illinois, Kansas, and Colorado and in Colorado the train got stuck twice and they had to dig out switches buried in the snowstorm. We continued through New Mexico, Arizona and into California on Monday morning. At this point it had been between 3 and 4 days since Joey had showered or laid down and I was getting disgusted sitting next to him.
In Los Angeles we switched trains and got onto the Pacific Surfliner to Oceanside. It was on this ride where Joey noticed that his IPOD was misplaced/lost/stolen the night before. Not only was it sad that the IPOD was gone, but ALL THE HOT ROCK MUSIC was gone and we were well over 1000 miles away from our record collection. Bummer. In Oceanside we met up with PA punk rocker Wiley Hewitt, Joey got his well needed shower, and we went to the beach.
In the style of Sal Paradise, the journey took exactly 12 Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches,12 strawberry Pop-Tarts, 2 Peanut-Butter Twix bars (thanks Jill) and 350 pages of Alex Garland and 68 pages of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Hasta la vista,
- Albert Einstein