Let’s do something quick, cheap and different. I am talking about a train trip from New Orleans to Los Angeles on the Amtrak route called the Sunset Limited. All you need is a three-legged plane fare to New Orleans and from Los Angeles, and a one-way Amtrak ticket on the Sunset Limited. You can enjoy New Orleans for a day or two. (see Jay Talking-New Orleans), a wicked cool train ride, and a day or two in Los Angeles.

This is part two of three parts and it covers the first portion of the train trip, including Louisiana and East Texas. (Much of East Texas is more like Louisiana than the Texas many of us picture.) Most of this portion of the trip is a lush and green, latticed with rivers, canals, and wetlands.

During the early hours of the trip people tend to keep to themselves, watching the scenery, getting used to life on the train, and anticipating what is to come. By nightfall, after a few hours and a glass of wine, people start to open up a bit and it is likely you can have meaningful conversation with someone who lives and works in a very different world than your own. The train is your common ground.

One defining factor of train travel is the constant motion both inside and outside the car. Some find it montonous, and others like myself find it deliciously hypnotizing.
I am a task driven person so the train is great for me in that it is a form of forced relaxation. Initially I feel I need to “get something done,” but the train is a strict anti-taskmaster and it insists that I simply relax and enjoy the fabulous position I have put myself in. I enjoy a beverage and the fantastic beauty. I chill and feel a peace induced by the mantra of movement.

This is not for everyone, but for many folks a trip like this is the dream of a lifetime. My job is to make you realize that this experience is likely well within your means. Do it.

In the next installment of this Jay Talking train journey we will hit the West, the real West, with buttes, mesquite, the Alamo, and the Mexican border.

Watch the video to find how exciting and rewarding a quick domestic trip can be.


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