NE Trip – Atlanta to Alexandria (Day 1)

Northeast Bike Trip Itinerary – (click link to view our trip itinerary)

Joyce’s husband, Ron, graciously offered to transport us (Martha, Joyce, and Kay) to the Amtrak station in Atlanta. Joyce and I invited Kay Shelnutt, a fellow Gamma Alpha sister, to join us on this trip to help with shuttling our bikes. We hope that she will be able to squeeze in some sightseeing as we journey from Atlanta to Burlington, Vermont with stops in Alexandria, NYC, Providence, and Boston. Unfortunately, Washington DC (a short subway ride from our first stop in Alexandria, Virginia) is off limits due to the government shutdown.

Carrying our Tern folding bikes from the Amtrak waiting area down 20 steps to the next to last passenger car was definitely a workout. We decided to ask Kay to stay on the platform with our luggage while Joyce and I loaded our bikes on the train. The conductor kept shaking her head and questioned whether there would be sufficient space in the luggage compartment to store our bikes. We pressed forward with blind faith (perhaps mixed with a little stubborn persistence) as we heaved our bikes up the steps. We placed them in front of the first seat and jumped back off the train to grab our panniers. Once onboard, we figured they couldn’t throw us off the train:) The conductor told us to carry the bikes to the back of the car where we found more than sufficient space to place the bikes (after rearranging a few people’s luggage). Relieved to be onboard with our bikes safely stowed, we went to our assigned seats.

After catching our breath, Kay and I headed up to the dining car while Joyce pulled out her sandwich and chips that she brought from home. I bought a pizza and Kay bought a turkey sandwich. We carried our food back to our seats and enjoyed our meal while getting to know Pam, a nice retired lady from Manassas, VA who was seated beside me.

I decided to watch The Company You Keep, a video that I downloaded to my iPad prior to the trip to help me unwind. I was too sleepy to watch the end of the movie and decided to stretch out on the empty seat behind Joyce and Kay. The rocking motion of the train put me to sleep, and I thanked God for the seat to lie down. About 4:30 in the morning, more passengers boarded the train and I had to move back to my original seat. After reclining my seat and pulling up the foot rest, I was able to doze back off to sleep for a couple of hours.

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