Posted by: Don Bemis | May 4, 2010


The rain waited until I started to load the van Saturday morning for our train trip.  It pretty much stopped as soon as that was done.  Son Andru drove us ten miles to the Bangor, Michigan, Amtrak station.  Bangor only has about 1,500 people, but they have a beautifully restored little station with a good coffee shop.  It also has (or had) half a stuffed rhinoceros upstairs, but that’s a different story. 

We boarded the Pere Marquette on time at 9:02 a.m.  The ride to Chicago takes about 2-1/2 hours, and the only interim stop is half an hour from Bangor, in St. Joseph, Michigan.  That is where two young men staggered onto the train and sat behind us.  It’s good that Amtrak doesn’t allow smoking, because their breath might have exploded.  They had apparently worked all night and must have tried to empty the liquor cabinet before leaving to visit family in Wisconsin or some such place.  They popped a couple of cans shortly after slumping into their seats.  It didn’t smell like Pepsi.  One fellow called home to talk to his children and his mother.  It was a fairly slurred conversation.  He could hardly wait to get back to pick wild mushrooms.  Booze and ‘shrooms  must have been two of his greatest pleasures.  His buddy had already passed out.  Not too long after the call, Mushroom Man did too.  It was a quiet ride after all.

I’ll fill you in on the next leg later.  It was an excellent trip, and I recommend it.  Be sure to board the train hungry.


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