Another 24 hours have gone by, so I best answer this question before other things interfere with my thinking.
The honest answer is yes maybe, I would do this again. But, if some things did not change or changed for the worse, I am not sure I would do it again. Here are the plusses and minuses.
- I got to see my sister.
- I got to see some incredibly beautiful parts of the country that cannot be seen any other way.
- I met some truly interesting, dare I say fascinating people.
- I got some great photos and videos,
- Relatively little, if any, “jet” lag.
- The amenities of traveling by train are far better than those in the air. They are better food, better service, more space, and places to stretch one’s legs.
- No anxiety. No sitting on runway for nine hours.
- Generally very good service from the Amtrak staff, and in some cases, excellent service.
- It was very expensive.
- This might partially because I waited so long to book the trip, and took the trip in summer, Amtrak’s busy season.
- It took a long time. I was actually on the train longer than my visit in OR.
- It was not possible to stop and spend more time in some of the locations along the way – at least not the way I booked the trip. This is possible, but I would have to see what the difference in pricing would be.
- “Sleeping” in the roomette is tight and bumpy. One does not really get a good sleep on the train.
- Restroom facilities on the train leave something to be desired.
- Dependable scheduling; we were off time more than we were on-time.
- Meeting “problem” people.
- Amtrak Elbow and Amtrak Legs.
Things I would do differently:
- Try to find a better fare by considering travel at a different time.
- Consider making some stops for several days along the way.
- Consider more time and the end destination.
- Consider moving up to a full size room instead of the roomette.
- Consider an alternate route so I can see more of the country. Several travelers I spoke to too the Zephyr to California, then took a train to Seattle and then Empire Builder back to Chicago.
- Bring less clothing and more pillows.
- Travel with others – but don’t try to share a room.
- Try the trip at a different time of the year.