Monday, December 18, 2017

more travel stress

Yeah, so, there was a big derailment in Washington State. It's awful, I guess some people died? Though it's hard to get straight information because apparently Amtrak is "hard to contact" or so the first responders say.

My own train? Super delayed. Womp womp. It sat outside of San Marcos for like four hours, I kept watching it online and getting more and more worried:

1. What if something bad happened to the train?
2. What if there was a derailment or something ahead of the train? (in that case, they could just "turn" the southbound train at Ft. Worth, but...)
3. What if they're stopping all trains (like a "ground stop" of planes) because of the derailment?
4. What if there's something wrong with the tracks, or they decide to cancel the train?

I called Amtrak three times. I'm not proud of that, especially on a day when other people are calling them for much more distraught reasons, but this is how I am: I kind of EXPECT to be left hanging in situations like this: not get any information or any help. And for a solo traveler, that's not good. All the logistics are on me.

(I still half expect to get down there and find out there's no train, and I'll need to get a motel room overnight and then hope and pray that I can get a roomette on a later train)

It started moving again a while ago....but last I checked, it was stopped again. (All three times I called the person said "They're stuck behind lots of freights" which I guess is plausible but it's frustrating)

At this point it looks like it MIGHT get in at about 8:30, more than three hours late.

I will still leave at about the same time I do - I do not want to drive in the dark, which I would be doing if I got down there much after 5:30 pm. I'll get dinner in Mineola (there's a famous burger joint there, and the food is OK I guess - I am not a huge fan of burgers, though) because I can't count on getting it on the train, the dining room might be closed and anyway I will be tired enough I'll just want my bunk made up.

I feel kind of bad being so upset about this when the derailment happened in Washington - it's like some version of a First World Problem - but yeah. I have too much experience of being left totally on my own to manage things and it's just hard. I have lots of heavy luggage (three weeks away, you need lots of clothes) so dragging it very far is suboptimal.

Earlier today, when I thought maybe something was going to prevent the train getting to me, I was calculating - I could probably get up beyond Tulsa with the light that remains today, cross Missouri tomorrow, and then be in Illinois late in the day Wednesday. It would mean lots of meals on the road and two motel rooms (and that's also fraught, when you're a woman traveling alone - hard to know where is safe) but hopefully now that won't be an issue.

I'm gonna leave between 2:30 and 3, that should get me to Mineola just before dark, and I can grab dinner there.

(Oh wait: have to get gas, so, yeah....better leave a FEW minutes before 3 at least)

But yeah. This is the part I hate. (Going back, I will be at my parents so any infelicities, they can help with).

As I said: I have some embargoed posts and depending on internet access, I may do one or two real-time posts.

I will be accepting any and all traveling mercies....

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