Writing on the Rails: Heading home

After a whirlwind cross country trip by rail from Edmonds to New York City, Michael Hall returned by Amtrak, leaving New York City on Dec. 28 (after deciding not to stay in the Big Apple for New Year’s Eve — maybe next year, he says). Hall arrived at Edmonds station the morning of Dec. 31. Here’s a summary of his trip home. (And if you missed his previous holiday-related posts, you can read them here.)



4:17pm CST- 

Delta, Ohio

Lunch in the Lounge Car with New York City DJ Ray Perez of the “Rize Together” Music Fests & “DerCas” Record Label.  Check out his spiritually uplifting music online…!  More on my visit with Ray here.




11:48pm CST- 

Staples, Minnesota


Snowy cold…..



5:09pm CST

Tomah, Wisconsin 


Patient small-town folks waiting for that “dang” train again….



2:21pm CST- 

Brookfield, Illinois

Taking a lunch ‘Snack’ break in the Observation Car, relaxing, writing and… ‘Observing….!’  Catching up on my blog posts.  



1:53pm PST-

America, USA

Just outside of Havre, Montana.  




9:30am PST- 

Here is my typical “Coach” living space on the Amtrak “Empire Builder.” Note: my personal CPAP sleep Machine fits economically under the seat in front of me. And everyone has their own reliable electrical outlet/charging station to keep your electronic devices fully charged 24/7. Quite spacious accommodations actually, when compared to your average seat space on an airplane. My seatmate (to my left) has ample space of his own as well. And you can always get exercise wandering around (on two levels) and hang out in the Dining Car, The Lounge or Observation Cars. All and all, the rails are a luxurious way to travel. And don’t forget, you can even book a private “Sleeper Unit” or a “Roomette,” to stretch out in a comfy bed, and watch the world flow by just outside your window as you slumber through the night to the ‘rhythm of the rails….’  




10:40am PST- 

Edmonds Station

Edmonds, WA 

Goodbye Amtrak, and my Whistle-Stop Holiday excursion across America, for 2019’s “Christmas on the Paranormal Express.”



10:30am PST- 

Back home in Little Ole’ “Edmonds, WA “ at my favorite cozy Starbucks, next to the Fountain downtown @ Main Street & 5th Avenue).  Warm, Safe and Grateful….. 

— By Michael W. Hall

Michael W. Hall, a 1971 graduate of Edmonds High School, is a local attorney who enjoys fly fishing, writing and “all things Fortean.”

  1. What an unbelievable journey! I loved reading your stories and sharing in your adventures. Wishing you a New Year full of more adventurous adventures!!! Isn’t it wonderful that we both have had the privilege of growing up in Edmonds – I’ve been here since I was one! Feeling grateful.

    1. Marni,
      Thanks for joining me vicariously on my AMTRAK “Christmas On The Paranormal Express” Holiday Train Excursion from little ole’ Edmonds to “The Big Apple” and back. I certainly felt your supportive presence, along with the many others, who were so generous with their good wishes and cheerful encouragements along the way….! 2020 is going to be amazing for all of us…..!
      Your Buddy,

  2. Thanks for great article. I’m heading back to Tucson soon on Amtrak and appreciate knowing I can use my CPAP to spare others aboard my snoring.

    Your article was well written, fun, and had useful information. Great service to one’s fellow travelers. You have me looking forward to my trip back to Tucson on Amtrack this month.

    1. Clinton,
      Yes, I think you’ll find plenty of room for your CPAP under the seat in front of you, or on the drop-down tray on the seat-back in front of you. And plenty of over-head storage for it, and your other bags, when you don’t need them. As a tip, I didn’t put much water at all, if any, in my humidifier reservoir, due to the constant (gentle) swaying of the train as we traveled. But, I found that I slept just fine without much water. Safe travels….! I will look forward to reading your ‘Blog-Vlog’ from the rails….!

  3. I happy to read that you got back to Edmonds safely after such a joyous adventure. I enjoyed reading about it.
    Thank you – I am grateful for you sharing your trip.

  4. SHARON,
    You are so kind….! I’m so glad that you enjoyed my “Christmas On The Rails” Holiday journey….! I hope you will have the opportunity to take a similar, fun and relaxing, trip yourself soon….!

  5. Michael – I thoroughly enjoyed this series and have been a believer in traveling rail for years. The photos were great too! I can hardly wait until your next trip!

    I do plan on taking the rails to Pittsburgh in the next couple of years as a friend is afraid to fly. She doesn’t use a computer so I will share your story with her now that it’s complete.

    Bravo for being concise yet explanatory!

  6. 01/05/2020
    I’m excited for your own upcoming adventure out there on the rails….! My only tip would be (what I would do different next time), is to bring along ‘less stuff’ to have to keep track of. The lighter you can travel, the better. But, other than that, you will thoroughly enjoy the relaxing, mesmerizing pace of your railway travels…..
    Call me if I can be of any further encouragement!
    (425) 245-4671 m/text

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