It took me 96 hours to ride an Amtrak train from coast to coast. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
- Amtrak is easily the slowest way to travel from coast to coast, but I did it anyway.
- The journey was delayed by more than 24 hours thanks to a missed connection in Chicago.
- Still, the sights were so beautiful - and the conversations with fellow passengers so enjoyable - that I'd repeat the journey every time I travel, if I had the time.
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Over the course of 96 hours, I saw more of the US than I had ever seen before as I traveled through cities and towns of all sizes, across wind-swept plains, and through some of the most beautiful mountains imaginable.
But stepping onto my first overnight Amtrak journey, I thought I was a seasoned veteran. Mere hours into the four-day journey though, I quickly learned that wasn't the case.I've taken the train between New York, Boston, and Washington, DC, more times than I can count, and even ventured out of the Northeast Corridor for a few longer journeys. But compared to many other passengers on this trip from coast to coast, I was still a novice in every sense of the term.
My companions on this 96-hour, 10-state journey from New York to Seattle, especially my fellow sleeping car passengers, were well-versed on how to survive a multiday trip by rail. Nearly every person I met had been on a sleeper before, and they were well-prepared to pass the time.
Unfortunately, I was not as ready.