Waiting for freight
We rolled fairly smoothly home from Minneapolis and only experienced a few more delays waiting for freight trains.
An absurdity, really, people waiting for freight?
Various Amtrak people and passengers told us freight companies own the rails and aren't enthusiastic about sharing them with Amtrak.
After the sleeping car passengers had dinner, the consistently friendly and efficient Amtrak food service staff announced that it would have free food for coach passengers just to use what was left and reduce waste.
The coach folks took full advantage.
Three Amish men about my age took seats near me in the observation car and other than their attire looked ordinary enough. As far as I could tell, they never glanced my way.
Back to where we startedFinally returned to the Milwaukee Intermodal Station at about 10:00 p.m. I was happy to be back and eager to get off the train.
Eight hours of delays and our unfriendly sleeping car attendant got to me. Despite his crappy attitude, I gave him a small tip. He acted surprised. Probably he doesn't get many tips but as someone who once received tips as part of my compensation, service has to be even worse than what he provided before I stiff someone.
The conductor announced we should exit to the left and take the tunnel to the station, otherwise we might wind up "like Wile E. Coyote on the electrified tracks."
A long ramp led down to the tunnel and a second took us up to the station on the other side.
A good place to be
Home sweet home. As I wrote in a script many years ago: "Home is a good place to be."
I walked to the car quickly, completely alone in the well-lighted station parking lot.
There on the dash between the steering wheel and windshield--exactly where the sign said to place it--was the parking receipt I feared I had left between the seats.
Memory is often a poor servant--especially at my age.
But my memories of our excursion will be positive, I know, and lasting, I hope...