Saturday 11 December 1999 - The trip is just about at an end here in Seattle. Tomorrow morning I start flying back to the right coast and my home in Washington, DC. It's been a lot of fun, and I hope you enjoy this account of my trip across the empire. Later I'll be adding hyper-links to the text and a contact sheet of the people and places I've been to help you plan your own venture from sea to shining sea. Be well, bon voyage!
Washington, DC to Chicago - first impressions of an old way to travel
Chicago to Minneapolis - into the valley, out of the east, on the door to the west
Minneapolis to Whitefish - exploring the Mall of America and back to the train.
Whitefish, Montana - adventures in an almost-winter wonderland!!
Seattle, Washington - the left coast and the end of the road

A few notes...

First, please be patient as the pages load. I believe in quality, and put a lot of effort into the images. I hope you will let the page load completely so you can fully appreciate it all.

Second, this is my first trip where I am uploading pictures from the road. I have pre-built all the graphics and page templates, so there may be pages here that don't have anything on them. So check back often, I am hoping to add new content every day of the trip!

Now, a few thoughts from before the trip...

With the end of the year approaching, I find myself with a week of vacation left, and I need to use it before the end of the year or else Fox takes it away. So, I start trying to figure out a place to go. I was considering a foray to the beaches of the Carribean. While that sounded relaxing, it didn't seem like it would make for a great web site. A sorry state that my life has come to - I'm making vacation decisions based on my web site.

For a while I've been wanting to start traveling more by rail, and this will be my first trip. This will also be my first trip with the new digital camera, so there will be daily updates with pictures throughout the trip. Follow along from Washington DC to Seattle via Chicago, Minneapolis, and a short stay in Montana to stare at the mountains.

From DC I'll be on the Capitol Limited to Chicago. There, I board the Empire Builder. The rails I'll be traveling from there to Chicago were the ones first built by James Jerome Hill, the driving force behind the Great Northern Railway. Today it's the Northern in Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Hill became more than just a railroad baron, he was THE empire builder. This is the train that was named for him.

The font that I have used throughout this travelogue is called Empire Builder, created by Ben Coifman and designed from the original type sketches and stencils of the Great Northern Railway. It is virtually the same font that was used by the GN exclusively on their Empire Builder trains. The font still lives on, being used on the diner menus on the Amtrak Empire Builder.

Getting the website ready at home