After wiling away the morning in downtown Chicago, we went to Chicago’s Union Station to wait for the departure of the Texas Eagle. While waiting, we decided to see if we could expedite refunds for our canceled trip on the City of New Orleans. We got our refund on the spot but Wayne and Diane were in for yet another Amtrak surprise.
Unlike us, they had booked their entire trip under one reservation number. Thus when Amtrak cancelled our New Orleans train they also canceled all the rest of their trip – both the California Zephyr and the Coast Starlight! 😲 This came to light about an hour before we were supposed to leave for Texas. Much running around ensued.
Fortunately, Amtrak was able to get them back on these trains leaving only two days later than they’d originally planned – so more nights in Chicago for W & D after we all got back from San Antonio.
Our departure was exactly on time 😄 for the roughly 30 hour trip south to San Antonio. We made it to Saint Louis before nightfall, just in time to catch the sunset glinting off of the Gateway Arch. We hadn’t been on this route before, so we saw some new scenery. Not spectacular scenery, but at least views new to us.
Then night fell and we crossed Missouri and Arkansas in the dark, reaching Texarkana, Arkansas by dawn. It would be nice if the train only ran during the day so you could see everything along its route, but it doesn’t.
We didn’t really expect scenery on par with what we’d experienced from the Empire Builder crossing the Rocky Mountains in Montana or the California Zephyr crossing both the Rockies and California’s High Sierra or the Coast Starlight hugging California’s stunning coast.
And it wasn’t, in that the scenery from the Texas Eagle was a little more low key. Mainly a line of small towns punctuated with the cosmopolitan centers of St. Louis, Little Rock, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Austin. Plus a crossing of the Mississippi River in sight of the Gateway Arch, a roll through the piney woods of East Texas, and a transit of the Hill Country near San Antonio. There was a certain amount of calm to be gotten from just sitting and watching these landscapes roll by.
Clouds gathered and the sunlight failed once we passed Austin and we continued on to San Antonio in the dark, arriving there exactly on schedule. 😄 We got an Uber to our hotel on the Riverwalk and went right to sleep – thus conserving our energy for visiting The Alamo on the morrow. 😁BACK TO BLOG POSTS
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