Trip reconsiderations

©2021 Michael Raven

I’ve been digging more into the details of my trip while I wait for a final confirmation from my cousin in Seattle about having a place to stay on the exact dates I have lined up and found out some interesting information about the train ride I had planned.

First, while it is implied that there is wifi available on trains, there is none on the particular train I was going to use, which is a bummer, as it cuts into the writing I had expected to do. Yes, I can write offline, but the lack of access for communications and uploading my writing was a disappointment. Thirty-six hours was more than I was hoping to be completely and entirely unconnected (the route has some mobile dead spots for a significant portion across North Dakota and Montana, so that is not an option).

Then I started to look into the roomette situation, which is not inexpensive, but I had considered to be essential for security, privacy and sleep. But the roomette sleepers are pretty tiny, even for one person, for someone who gets claustrophobic at times. I could have dealt with it, I suspect, but then I discovered that there is no way to lock up your roomette when you leave to eat, shower, use the bathroom, or use the sightseeing car. Considering I have some expensive items I plan to bring with me (laptop, iPad, and ReMarkable), I didn’t want to have to carry it all with me wherever I roamed on the train. Still… it is doable. It is a little disappointing.

I had planned to just go ahead and book the train once I got the confirmation, in spite of the concerns. I wanted an adventure, right? Something different.

To convince myself it was the right decision, I decided to make myself barf at the flight prices. That would cure my growing unease, right?

Except that Seattle, Portland and Minneapolis/Saint Paul are not typical January destinations. So, even with slightly higher direct pricing from the airline, I basically could fly comfort class (not quite first class) to Seattle and return from Portland for less than half of the rail prices with a roomette (and in 1/10 the travel time).

I got a scrunched up face at seeing that price difference. First class, by the way, is still $300 less than the roomette rail trip.

Sooo…. I think I’m going to cave and get there quicker, with better food, and better sleep and be able to enjoy the cities more without risking being tired (which was the reason for the roomette for at least one direction).

I’ll find other ways to make life less comfortable and cheaper.

Photo by zoe pappas on

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