Because I’m trying to get work done while sleeping on the train going 2/3 of the way across the country, Kim talked me into getting a sleeper car on the train. If coach class on the train is nicer than first class on the plane, having a sleeper is like getting a couple of rows to yourself. You’ve got a semi-private loo, a little shower, and a couple of cots, plus a table and enough room you can actually move around in. Your meals are paid for. You get a special waiting area with free refreshments and comfortable chairs.
The people that you meet riding the train are different. They are more recreational “travelers” than the hard-core type-A businessmen that infect airports. In general people are more laid back, less uptight, and more patient. I like that.
I’m here in the Chicago station reading and writing about the SolidWorks conference in San Antonio, and a boarding announcement is made for the Texas Eagle train that goes to San Antonio. I’m a bit relieved to be skipping the conference this year. There are a couple of individuals I’ll miss, and a couple of events I might wish I could have been at, but any information that’s worth having, I can get right from onboard the California Zephyr train in the middle of an Iowan cornfield. No ears popping. No seatbelts. No cheap thrills for otherwise unemployable TSA agents. No monotonous safety announcements. No deafness inducing blaring bings from the PA or jet noise. No long lines. No passengers stacked like Oreo cookies.
Driving out here is monotonous. At least on the train I don’t have to watch where I’m going. I can see individual trees probably 3 miles away.