I’m not sure why I had to make reservations for the dining car.
There were only eight people eating at 11:30, so most of the tables were empty. I’m also not sure why they didn’t give me my own table. I was seated with a retired woman who lives in the mountains of Colorado. She caught the train in Lamar and was getting off in Galesburg to catch a shuttle to Springfield to catch another Amtrak train to Poplar Bluff where a friend was picking her up to drive to Florida for a week. We had a nice conversation as we rode along, but Galesburg was coming up quickly, so she had to eat fast.
I ordered a cheeseburger, but passed up the $2.00 bacon. The burger, a few chips and a bottled water cost me $11.00 with tip (no tax).
It was not an exciting meal. I was in the dining car for perhaps 20 minutes, then resumed my seat in the lounge car for the rest of the journey. I can now say that I’ve eaten in the dining car on a train. I can also say that it’s unlikely that I will ever do so again.
The scenery in Illinois looked much like … Illinois.
We stopped in Galesburg, then rode through more farmland and through several small towns.
Here’s a bit of video I took while we passed through Galesburg.
There were a few scenic areas scattered here and there.
We stopped in Princeton and Mendota (where they desperately need to repaint the water tower).
Mendota was definitely the weather highpoint of the day. As we traveled further east, the sky got decidedly gray and so did everything else. I took this picture somewhere west of Aurora. This is exactly how it came out of my camera (except for a bit of cropping).
I went downstairs to the cafe one last time, for a $2.50 Snickers Bar, then settled in for the final stretch.
To be continued …