Hey Team,

It’s been a busy few days of travel without a lot of time to squeeze in new experiences. I did, however, get to take part in the longest train ride EVER. I left Massachusetts at noon two days ago and I got into Galva, Il (pop. 2758) last night around 8:30 pm. Roughly 32 hours of travel. I did get two sizable layovers to break up the monotony. PLUS, I got to meet some really cool people on the train.

My first pit stop was in Albany, NY where I had the privilege of being introduced to the bar/restaurant that is used as the pictorial example for the word “dive.”

No joke: The bar tender (I think his name was Skip) turned the TV on with a baseball bat. The weather set the mood too, dark and cloudy with a sultry mugginess in the air. Lightning in the background. Plus a sketchy clientele all combined to make me feel like I was in the white trash version of “The Titty Twister.” (Who can pick out THAT movie reference?) But, I did make it out alive (I guess that makes me Seth.)

That’s when the marathon leg of the train ride started. I spent a LOT of time in the lounge car making friends with strangers. I even met the manager/bassist for the Legendary Soul Stirrers! Ben was a crazy-nice guy; I hope I get the chance to see one of his shows while I’m wandering around.

So after an 18 hour train ride with a 4 hour nap curled up in a ball between two seats I made it to Chicago…and quickly learned that the only thing worse than realizing you just spent the last hour wandering around in a circle in a strange city is KNOWING that you definitely didn’t walk in a circle and after an hour of walking around lost you still somehow end up in an area that looks EXACTLY like the place you started.

I’m thinking of getting a tattoo of a compass just so I have an excuse for getting lost every time I move.

“Don’t you have ANY sense of direction?”

“Well, my compass says North is this way…and that way…and…oh, crap.”

Your thoughts?

I haven’t had very much time to REALLY experience “Hog Days” yet but I already have some great stories and pictures and even some video that will go up little by little over the next two days! I even made it to a ten-year high school reunion. Mine? No.

A just wait until you see what Jean gave me!!! Pure small town goodness.

I’m done…for now.

Brett

Want to keep living vicariously? I know what you could do!


Don’t let me stop you.