Amtrak Excursion 2014
2014 Ted H. Schaar

5. Colorado
Crag in New Mexico
Rocket city

Last night we had dinner with a couple from New York who now call San Bernardino, California, home. He was an engineer who said he had spent part of his career working on weaponry.

Claimed to have met JFK and Wernher Von Braun in Huntsville, Alabama, during the early 1960s when the city was known for pioneering rocketry work. 


The elderly Amish couple I'd seen in the observation car was seated across the aisle.

Our dinner companions sat with them the night before.  Sure wish we would have been paired with them! 

We have Amish families in Western Wisconsin, and when I was a teenager, I would sometimes drive my mother, who grew up on a farm, to the Monroe Clinic in that part of the stare.

She enjoyed stopping at Amish farms to buy homemade goods, but even more she liked talking with the Amish. Mainly, I now know, because they reminded her of how things were when she was a child in the early 1900s.  She was born in 1906, spoke German, and probably could understand the Amish language, which Wikipedia describes as "Pennsylvania German, also known as 'Pennsylvania Dutch.'"*

Stupid teen that I was, I always waited in the car.  My mother, who liked sayings, regularly reminded me that:  "The best thoughts come too late."  Indeed.

The San Bernardino wife said the Amish couple had four daughters, six sons, and a bunch of grandchildren. 

They were
heading west with an ill granddaughter.
Blurred rocks in New Mexico
Arizona landscape

Another modern tale

Lunch today was with a gay man in his late 30s or early 40s who said he had worked in the Richard M. Daley (mayor from 1989 to 2007 [his father Richard J. Daley was major from 1955 to 1976]) administration in Chicago.  He was visiting California to attend a gay wedding. Pam later saw him sitting in the observation car doing needle point. Completely twenty-first century.

Arizona landscape
Amtrak Deluxe Bedroom
Deluxe bedroom.
Amtrak deluxe bedroom
The deluxe bedroom's upper panel and bench seat fold down.


Photos 2014 Ted H. Schaar except where noted.