It's day two of our journey aboard the Empire builder. Upon Ethan's request I will attempt to spell better and spell check when I'm done. :] This morning was a little rough. I slept for about 6 hours, while Ethan's sleep was less successful. We woke up at 6 and forced ourselves to sleep longer. At 8 we knew that was all we were going get. We sat up and tried to get ourselves together. We ate a couple Clif bars for breakfast and looked out on an impossibly flat landscape. At about 10 we stopped for a smoke break (no we did not take up smoking ...it's what we call the fresh air breaks that the train takes when we have to pick people up/drop people off/refuel/restock)... I have no idea where we were, probably the middle of nowhere. After that we decided to brush our teeth and get cleaned up. We suprisingly fit in one bathroom together (don't get crazy we're not into that kind of thing). We got out of there ASAP on account of the fact that it smelled like a port-a-potty.
We got back to our seats and both decided to continue reading the books that Rane put on our phones with the Kindle app (if you don't have it and don't mind reading things on your phone you should get it... Do it!). I was (still am) concurrently reading Fifty Shades of Grey and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, while Ethan decided on The Girl Who Played with Fire. Reading helped make the time go by rather quickly. We visited the Lounge Car for a while (it's a car on the train that has tables with bench seats and chairs that face the picture windows) to take in the incredible views of North Dakota and eventually Montana.
At some point we got backed up and for what seemed like an eternity we chugged along like the little engine that could. I swear we didn't go more than 40mph for like 5 hours. It was gruesome. We knew we were running late already and we wished we were playing Oregon Trail so we could change the pace to gruelling. Finally we picked up our pace after we stopped for a very breif smoke break in Havre, MT.
Current time: it feels like we are making lots of progress as the Rocky Mountains greet us with stunning views of their peaks and tree covered sides. The landscape has changed dramatically as we get closer to the giant mountain range. It's Ethan's first time seeing the mountains so his eyes and the camera are glued to the Lounge Car window. I've hiked in the Rockies before, but I'm still humbled by their grandeur and intense beauty.
We often say that things so big (like space or the ocean) remind us that we as humans are teeny tiny part of this world we live in. The mountains give us that same feeling. It's an incredible experience. We just stopped at East Glacier Park at the foot of the Rockies and the sun has set. We'll spend another hour or so in the Lounge car taking in the last few ounces of light and scenery. We'll probably play Spike and Alice (spite and malice) and Ethan will probably let me cheat, but he'll win anyway. That's all for today! Happy 7/11!!!