Bags checked and we’re off on the Sunset Limited out of New Orleans, pretty much on time!There is a lounge at New Orleans for sleeper passengers, but very limited, coffee and water, more like a Drs waiting room! No breakfast served in the dining room, but packet muffins in the cafe car.
Across the lakes and through the forests of Louisiana and East Texas we go, somewhere along the way we had lunch in the dining car, no desert, the cheesecake was still frozen.
Just before sundown at dinner time we pull into Houston. No desert , now the train is out of cheesecake.Spent many years here watching the skyline grow.
We follow the tracks down South Main, a couple of blocks from our first house in Houston area and on towards Sugarland, here the points malfunctioned, the crew were hoping a freight train would fix them, but ’twas not to be.
Our crew got permission to solve the problem themselves. Slowly we went onward, now an hour or so late, further down the line we stop again, but decide that getting off at midnight to party on San Antonio Riverwalk is not for us, we learn just how tiny a roomette is!
Next morning, we wake up, to discover we are still in San Antonio, should have left at 2 am, still breakfast! Here we learn that a strap holding a load of pipes on a freight car broke and the pipes fell all over the tracks.
Now, quite a few hours late we move on. Past Del Rio and across Lake Amistad, then over the Pecos River, past miles and miles of west Texas scenery.
Until we arrived at Alpine, the closest station to Big Bend National Park, a place of great beauty and vast differences, from high mountains to open dessert and river bottoms, complete with the Rio Grande river and St. Helena Canyon.
We are supposed to be in Los Angeles at 5 am, but when we wake up we are in the middle of the desert. On the plus side there’s breakfast, but the kitchen is fast running out of food options, not that there were many to start with!
Mid morning, in Palm Springs and it is clear that we will not make our connection in LA, and we are in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone coverage and no wifi on the train!
There is talk of taking us on a bus from LA to “catch up” with the Coastal Starlight, our next train