Next Step NOLA to DC via Chicago

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So what came back from my latest “Solve it while I sizzle?”  Some folk in NYC got in touch. I know I’m going to end up seeing them anyway. But nothing else during the day. After dinner, I sat down with the timetables and started looking.

There are three trains out of New Orleans. I wasn’t keen on getting the Sunset Limited back west through Texas to California. I also found the prospect of getting to the station for 7.05 to get on the Crescent up to Atlanta, DC, Philadelphia or New York less than appetising. So the City of New Orleans seemed to be the right choice. However, I’ve said again and again that this trip is about the people. Where are the people in Chicago? Who do I know there? Answer is, I don’t, really or at least they’re not popping up and saying “Oooh! Me, pick me” the way that others have so far. So I started to look and see where I could go after Chicago. Well I know I want to go and see Neal in Maine, the reality of that is going to be tricky. He lives near Belfast, ME and the nearest train station is Portland which seems to be a bloody long bus ride away at least. If I went there I’d probably have to have an overnight in Boston too. Hmmmm….

I came back to not trying to plan too many steps ahead. All I really needed to do was go to Chicago, but could I do that, not knowing what I’d do or where I might stay if I didn’t have anywhere else to go on to?

That’s when an e-mail pinged into my inbox from Anne. Anne is another friend of Jo Mitchell (in London) and Ann Cummins (who I stayed with in Seattle). We’d had a non-committal conversation back when I was in California. She lives on the Virginia side of Washington and was mailing to see whether I might still be including DC in my plans.

Missing piece of the jigsaw.

I could take one of the trains to DC early evening on Thursday and arrive on Friday afternoon. She’s going to something in Philadelphia on Sunday and is happy to have me tag along. So I could go on from there to Boston (and do the trek into Maine) or hang out in Philly and then move on to NYC. Or anything actually because that’s Sunday and this is Tuesday evening.

That’s my planning process, working yet again. It rocks.

Originally posted on Please Look After This Englishman