Sunday, June 19, 2005

Day 5

No intelligent conversation on this train - smokers are too busy complaining about Amtrak trains being non-smoking trains and there are not frequent enough smoke stops. Women who got on in Pittsburgh this morning are making the most noise about it, and about the fact that this train is two hours late so far. The coach attendant has been explaining to them that the tracks are owned by the freight lines and they have the right of way - we got behind slow freights, so we have to wait for them to move on.

Smokers certainly do make a lot of noise (literally) about the non-smoking issue and get caught in the bathroom area lighting up - not hard to tell when the whole car fills up with cigarette smoke. There have been problems on both trains with smokers opening the upper half of the coach door, sticking their heads out and smoking.

I have listened to two different groups of very indignant women complaining about the treatment they receive when caught doing this. It is all they can talk about and the smokers are threatening suing Amtrak.

One attendant made an announcement that if you stick your head out the window, you are in danger of losing it when another train comes by - pleasant thought.

West Virginia - rhododendrons, mountain laurel, ferns - I'd like to stick my head out the window and breathe in the scent of all the honeysuckle. I awoke this morning to the sight of early morning mist in the hills of the Cumberland Narrows. It was wonderful following the river in this wild area - so pretty!

Martinsburg - great old buildings, brick streets, Craig - interesting town. A few minutes later : not so scenic here - junk yards and yards with junk. Then, Harpers Ferry is pretty.

It is starting to look like the DC area - nice houses and yards in woodsy spots. The previous stop was Rockville, Maryland. The last stop on this train will be Washington DC, two hours late, then I'll leave at 7:30 for Florida.

I have to decide how to kill five hours in the train station. I was there on the bus once, and I don't remember being near anything to "sightsee".

Office buildings now - will soon arrive - can see Washington Monument - that must mean something.


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