Rich and I are just back from our version of the GATA, having spent 6 weeks "on the rails." Well, really, we only spent 10 or so days on the actual rails, the rest of the time was spent visiting friends and relatives in the SW & PNW. We had a grand time, both at our various destinations and in our tiny Deluxe Room on the train. (Deluxe refers to the tiny self-contained potty and shower chamber that sticks out into the small bedroom. There was also a mini-sink, where washing of faces and brushing of teeth proved to be both challenging and hilarious.) I became quite adept at showering while rocking and swaying inside a phonebooth sized compartment.
We traveled from Chicago to Tucson,(where we stayed with friends, then moved to Tubac for a week in a B&B, and on to Green Valley for a couple of days). Boarded the train at 4 in the morning (we owe Ione and Rob much, and many thanks, for driving us to the RR station in the middle of the night) for stays in Los Angeles, Oakland, Bodega Bay, and finally, Seattle. We enjoyed a variety of great hikes, readings, parties, beaches, cave explorations, botanical gardens, zoos, and even, one night, a hockey game.
Now to rest up. More to follow.