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Pondering travel

Wow. Just for comparison I looked at the timetable & rates for me to take Amtrak to Phoenix in May.

For $0.73 less than flying SWA, I can get there on Amtrak. Of course, I would have to leave Monday at 7:50 am, and I would get to Chicago 45 minutes *after* the train to Arizona left, so I'd have a 23 hour layover.
Then I'd finally board the train to AZ on Tuesday at 3:15 and ride it for 31.5 hours. I'd arrive in Flagstaff, AZ at 9 pm and have to "Self Transfer" from the Amtrak station to the Greyhound station. This means walk my ass the 1/2 mile from one to the other in the middle of the night. That should be fun. They always put the bus station in the best part of town!
Then I'd get on a Greyhound to take me the rest of the way to Phoenix, arriving at 2:30 am on Thursday.
67 hours of travel, and I'm getting there over 12 hours earlier than I wanted to be. Ugh.
And that's just looking at getting there. I didn't have the energy to figure out the return trip.
Now I know why people don't take the train more!

Of course that $0.73 I saved would be offset by the hotel room in Chicago, probably a taxi in Flagstaff, and probably an extra night of hotel in Phoenix. Not to mention the 3 extra days off work I'd have to take (I don't get paid time off).

Hell, driving is only 29 hours, so even taking an 8 hr break to sleep, that puts travel time at 37 hours. That means leaving Mpls 6 am Wed. would get me to Phoenix around my target time of 4 pm Thurs. That's only one extra day off work, and one extra person in the car would make the gas less expensive than flying. Heck we could leave Tues nite to drive through the boring parts of the country in the dark and then we'd have extra time during the day to explore anything interesting in the Rockies.

And all these options are moot if I'm going by myself, because I'm not driving 2000 miles alone. At that point I'm definitely flying.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 16th, 2010 09:42 pm (UTC)
I'm still boggling at anyone even *considering* driving for 29 hours. Most I've ever done in one go is about 10, and I was ready to give up.
Feb. 16th, 2010 10:07 pm (UTC)
<-- With the right incentive at the end of the drive...
At 29 hours couldn't you pretty much circle all of England?
I still boggle at the thought of being able to say "I want to go from this city to this city" and being able to do it by train at a reasonable price, and on a decent schedule. I would LOVE it if the US had a decent train system!
Feb. 16th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
Re: &lt;-- With the right incentive at the end of the drive...
I've done Cornwall - Wakefield in 10 hours, and northern Scotland - Wakefield 10 hours. I don't drive fast, have frequent stops etc.

I reckon it would take me 29 hours to do Lands End to John O'Groats (bottom of England to top of Scotland), about 840 miles. Google Maps reckons 14 hours!
Feb. 17th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)
Re: &lt;-- With the right incentive at the end of the drive...
Taking time to explore while road tripping really is the way to do it.
Feb. 16th, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
Layovers in Chicago
It's in May. We'll be gone already. :(
Feb. 17th, 2010 12:13 am (UTC)
Re: Layovers in Chicago
That's ok. A 67 hour train/bus trip just isn't worth it! I'll fly before I do that!
Feb. 16th, 2010 11:56 pm (UTC)
You know, if more people travelled by train, there might be better routes. Just a thought.

I hope you can work out the travel stuff! I got my fingers crossed for you!
Feb. 17th, 2010 12:15 am (UTC)
If you're going from Chicago you've got a ton more options for train travel. From here in MSP you can go to Chicago, or up through North Dakota and Montana to Seattle.

I'm almost positive I'll be flying unless we have other people who want to road trip.
Feb. 17th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
There is an Amtrak station in Maricopa. Maricopa's about 45 min outside of Phoenix. Closer than Flag!
Feb. 17th, 2010 04:06 am (UTC)
Trying to figure out Amtrak times is a nightmare!
That one is a different train. I'd still have to lay over in Chicago because it leaves Chicago before the one from Mpls gets in. Then I'd leave Chicago Tues afternoon, go all the way down to San Antonio arriving there at 10pm Wed nite, layover and leave SA at 5:40 am, and hit Tucson at 10:40pm Thurs, and Maricopa at 12:47am Friday.
Amtrak is sooo not an option for getting to AZ. :)
Will you be there Memorial Day weekend so I'll finally get to meet you?

Edited at 2010-02-17 04:12 am (UTC)
Feb. 17th, 2010 04:37 am (UTC)
I won't. I'm moving back to Texas the first week of March. :(
Feb. 17th, 2010 05:00 am (UTC)
Where in Texas?
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )



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