Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Rail Trip, from the east, to the west and back again, Day 1

In mid-September (starting on 9/11) Susan and I went on a little trip starting in Amherst; we flew to St. Paul, MN and boarded an Amtrak train to meet up with Susan's sister and her husband; went eventually to the West coast (Seattle), with a stop in Glacier National Park; turned north to Canada after getting to Seattle; stayed in Vancouver, BC for a couple of days and then turned back east through the Canadian Rockies; stopped in Jasper, Alberta for a couple of days; and eventually ended up in Montreal for two days before heading south to Albany, NY, were we rented a car and drove home. All of the trip was accomplished on the train except for our flight to St. Paul and our rental car ride home. We ended up back home on 9/24.

Of course I made "snap shots" along the way with my point and shoot camera. The following is a description of our trip on a day to day basis starting on 9/11.

9/11 Sarah drove us to the Manchester airport for a 7:00 am flight to Minneapolis. Took a taxi to the Amtrak station in St. Paul. Our impression of the St. Paul station was that it was situated in the middle of a desolate, run-down area.

As we were at the station mid-morning and the train to the west was not due until 11:30 pm we thought we would sight-see either in Minneapolis or St.Paul. The Amtrak agent told us we could take bus 16 in one or the other direction and we would eventually end up in downtown St. Paul or Minneapolis. We chose St. Paul and that's when our education of the underbelly of St. Paul society began. Number 16 bus (on a Sunday) has all sorts of folks on it going from home to a shopping center or back, apparently shopping for food or other stuff. It was jammed and we were on it for an hour or more so had a great look at this slice of the St. Paul population.

We did eventually reach downtown St. Paul and had a nice walk around. After a nice dinner in St Paul we took a cab back to the train station, having seen enough of the people on bus number 16 for one day at least.

The cab driver was from NYC. He apparently came to the U of MN in the late 60's or early 70's for grad school in Geology and ended up staying. Did not ask how he ended up in his current position as a cab driver.

The following photos are of St. Paul and the station before our departure on the train at the end of day 1.

Lucy and Charlie Brown chatting

Flowers and construction in St. Paul

Tall buildings and clouds in a blue sky

Sky and cloud reflection

Modern buildings in St. Paul

The St. Paul Library

View from the Library toward the Mississippi River

Library ceiling

Inside the library

The "Heritage" Building

Inside the library

Garden view from the library

View from a window of the library

St Paul Church

St Paul Building

Silhouettes in the Science building

St Paul Station (not too busy)

St. Paul station before the train arrived

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