Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Where's the coffee?

I recall my eyes opening to see a sliver of dawn several hours ago. I recall thinking it would be noteworthy to experience sunrise in Nebraska. I was quickly vetoed by my body, which needed sleep more.

I'm now awake in Iowa with the sun already high by 8 am. Its pleasant passing by farmhouses and fields and fields of dried corn. Being here is making me crave things like pot roast and a glass of milk.

I'm feeling nostalgic-the top half of my roots were spent in Wisconsin. Its a nice time to be here just before winter sets in, despite it being on the late side of fall. Autumn brings out the best in a lot of places.

The lounge car downstairs has coffee and overpriced snacks. Its hard for me to blog without coffee, but I guess sometimes you've got to rough it. After lowering myself to instant coffee the last couple weeks, anything out of a pot is like heaven.

Yesterday I was able to experience the dining car- and fortunately on a shoestring. Dinner is in the pricier range (steak, salmon, and pastas from $15-$23). I shared a table with a lovely couple from Des Moines and we took advantage of the Angus Burger deal for less than 8 bucks apiece, including a beverage. In the two and a half days on the train, I've been depriving myself of real food. I am living on fancy mixed nuts and chlorinated water, trying to stay as close to the bone as possibly and save my expenses for necessities, like coffee. I'll have to make up for it once I get settled back home. At least sitting in a chair all day doesn't give you a huge appetite anyway.

The few hours of light following lunch were timed perfectly for the ride leading us into Denver, and we enjoyed the sun sinking behind the mountains as we entered Rocky Mountain National Park from Greeley. The contrast of mountains between the Sierras, the mesas in Utah, and the Rockies is impossible to depict in photos, particularly with very basic equipment. Nice to see snow on the ground, but a reminder that I'm not at all ready for winter when I return to New York.

The lounge just opened. I'm outta here to get my brew. See you in Chicago.

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