We walked the 3 miles back to the auto shop on a Monday, exactly one week from the accident. We had yet to hear from the insurance company, awaiting the appraiser who was supposed to check out the car in 72 hours, so much for that. We ended up talking to a very nice gentleman at the shop, he told us the car would most definitely be totaled. He advised it would likely cost $20,000 to fix the car and we ought to buy a new car. The disappointment was apparent in our sunken faces. We explained our situation and he offered to come out and take a look at the car himself. We informed him we were not concerned about looks, we just want it working and safe. That changed the estimate to $1,400 which is much more manageable! As we were leaving he introduced himself as the owner of the shop. It was great to know that after talking very candidly with him about fixing the car, insurance issues and how long we could leave the truck sitting there.
Our next walk was about 2 miles to a hipster coffee shop to crash in for a few hours. We then found an Irish pub that is open until 1am to waste some time in. Initial plan was to nap in the bus station but they were only open from 2:15am to 6:30am. We spent 7 hours at the pub. It was pretty hard to entertain ourselves. We ended up asking each other questions you ask on a first date (as suggested from sites online). We passed over a lot of them because they were either completely ridiculous or we could answer the question for each other. There were some questions that spurred interesting conversation though and it was fun to learn new things about each other. I felt bad sitting there for so long but they were never busy and we always had something on the table we were slowly consuming. A little before 1am we bundled up and started the 2.5 mile walk to the bus station. Almost immediately we had to dodge a car turning too fast while we crossed the street. They didn’t even slow down to take the turn, at the last minute I saw them coming and moved faster forward, Matthew was behind me and had to jump back to avoid being hit. The rest of the walk was uneventful. We arrived 30 min early so we huddled next to the building to block the wind and again tried to entertain ourselves with conversation to pass the time. Promptly at 2:15am the lights came on and we were let in. We immediately bought tickets and waited until 3:45am to load on the bus. I passed out pretty hard on the 3 hour drive from Bismarck to Fargo.
Only shot from our walk around Fargo
I blinded Matthew while taking a photo
Like a pro he used his phone to shine a light on me and used mine to take the photo
By the time we walked back to the train station we only had to wait 2 minutes until they opened. We then found out the train was running behind and instead of boarding at 2:15am, we would board at 4am. That was not to be, the train got farther behind and we boarded at 5:30am. If you’ve never been sleep deprived then tried to sleep in a train station on seats made specifically for not laying on, I highly suggest keeping it that way. I got some sleep sitting up and leaning back with my head against the wall. Once we made it on the train we both passed out pretty hard. I got up at noon and felt like I could sleep a few more hours. We brought snacks but needed a meal so we went to the dining car. They have community seating and we were matched with another couple. They were about our age, just a few years older. He lives in Hawaii working with autistic children and she lives in Minnesota working at a temple. They too met online, but they met on a spiritual meet up site. It amuses me the many dating site options we have. We ended up having great conversation that lasted until the waitress had to hint for us to get out. We then moved to the observation car for a little while before parting ways. For the last 2 hours of the journey we watched a movie on Matthews computer. Even with the train being 3 hours late I was able to make my connection in Chicago, with a whole 10 minutes to spare. It’s a big station so I said a quick goodbye to my phenomenal boyfriend, was one of the first off the train and walked quickly to the next one.
documenting for the blog on the train
The train was nowhere near full so I got two seats to myself. I again dined on the train for dinner, I was matched with 3 guys, all younger than me. It was a little awkward and not as easily flowing of a conversation but we made the best of it and ended up having some interesting dialogue and good laughs. Two of them were brothers, the third was traveling alone like me. At some point while we were getting to know each other they asked what year I graduated high school, I said 2002 and the younger of the two said,”that’s a loooong time ago”. I found that very amusing, that 2002 seems a long time ago. He was right though, if you think about technology and how much that alone has changed since I graduated... shoot just when I think about how much I’VE changed since I graduated. After dinner I spent a little while reading then laid down on my two chairs. Using a trick I learned on the last train I raised both foot rests to make a small bed. It was nice to have a chair to lay on that didn’t dig into my ribs, gotta enjoy the small things in life. Overall I would vote for traveling by train again. I was not happy with the delayed departure time but once on it was a pleasurable trip. Having a place to eat, the observation car and a quiet area to sleep has been pleasant. Oh, and the views! Last night before switching trains the view of the moon was fantastic. What sticks in my mind is how large it looked, the light copper color with the many houses covered in Christmas lights in the foreground, it made me think of the polar express. On the last day I enjoyed the mountains of Pennsylvania covered in snow, and the slushy rivers flowing between them.
Photos from the train ride:
rundown train station no longer in use, Martinsburg, WV
Initially this was going to consist of everything in the past 3 weeks, but it quickly became entirely too long. VA trip coming soon...