- Jun 12, 2009
I think I have an opportunity next month to ride the Sunset Limited (NOLA - LA) and the Empire Builder (Portland-Havre-Milwaukee), and possibly the Coast Starlight (Oakland-Portland), with some flying in between (airfares are so inexpensive). For those who know these routes and cities well, I have a few questions:
- When the westbound Sunset Limited stops in San Antonio at 12-2 am, has anyone stepped away from the platform to see/do anything? I see a few bars close by that could be interesting. I’d love to see San Antonio at any other hour, but I can’t imagine venturing far past midnight.
- Has anyone spent any time in/around Havre? My family lived in nearby Harlem in the 1910s and again in the 1930s, and I have a great great grandfather buried in Havre (I’m told he was electrocuted working on the railroad in 1917). I can’t imagine riding by without stopping to see this piece of family history, and this crazy 3x/week schedule means I’ll have two days there. I’ll rent a car, explore the area, visit Harlem, etc. Any recommendations for sights to see would be welcome.
- And finally, my booking dilemma: To catch the Empire Builder, I’m either going to board the Coast Starlight in Oakland and ride it overnight to Portland to transfer directly to the EB, or fly to Portland and enjoy Wednesday evening / Thursday there before boarding the EB. I haven’t ridden that stretch of the CS in 20 years and would love to see it again. I’ve also never spent more than a few hours in Portland and would love to see it as well — and I cannot do both. I realize this is a personal decision about how I want to spend this time, but any comments to help sway me would be welcome. I'm leaning toward taking the CS, but I’d be curious to know how often the CS-EB connection is missed. I see online that in the last month or two, the CS was once 4-5 hours late. I know in 2001 I had to be bused from Klamath Falls to make the same connection. If this is rare in April, I won’t stress about it. If it’s common, maybe I’d be safer skipping the CS and flying?