Day Two (Somewhere in Ohio and Indiana)
After sleeping sideways across 2 seats at 1-2 hours at a time (eventually, I got the hang of positioning myself so that the crease in the middle did not give me spasms) I woke up around 1AM in Buffalo to a Federal Border Marshall dressed in green.
He asked me how I was doing and what country I was from. By my slow and somewhat dazed response, I was not sure if he would believe me. However, he quickly moved along.
Around 4AM I woke up and saw that I was in Cleveland, just outside of Browns Stadium. At 6AM, two students on either side of me got off of the train, and things looked pretty desolate on board. I close my eyes again, and later wake up to Toledo. I text a few friends, and send love notes to my wife ("hello, Cleveland, I miss U") and when I wake up again, the sun is rising, and I snap a few shots of the flat Ohio landscape, Then I go get a coffee.
The food is what you would expect, I suppose... nuked sandwiches at $6 a pop. The same ones that would cost around $4 in a 7-11. The woman at the diner car was very cheery, and that made the spongy, piping hot bread seems a little more palatable, It turns out that this is her first train trip on the job, after spending several years as a flight attendant.
After my coffee, I decide to brave the handicapped bathroom once again. It looks like a concert hall port-o-let this time around. I wipe around the edges, use one of the seat barriers and hope for the best. I may need a Typhoid shot when I get to Chicago. The train is cranking along now. Still not many people on board. I am somewhat surprised, since it is a Monday, and I anticipated some commuters. When you have 14 cars, however, they are distributed all along. This section is the "stub train", and there are no sleeping quarters. A sleeper car (or "roomette") costs over $150, which seems a bit pricey. How much better sleep can you possibly get? Lots of bouncing around at this speed, but it's not so bad. I am fairly comfortable, considering I have been sitting on my ass since 2PM yesterday.