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DITL Circus Edition - Train Run








Train run: This is a day when the train is transporting performers, crew, animals, and equipment from one city to another. There are no shows and no school for the kids, so showside workers use this time to catch some R&R :)
Follow the circus train from Anacostia, DC to Charleston, WV!



WARNINGS: Just one. I work for a circus in which there are performing animals. If you have a strong opinion about the use of animals for entertainment, please do not use this post to express your viewpoint. If you have any questions regarding animals in the circus or any other aspect of circus life, please visit the company website or feel free to pm me personally. I will answer your questions, honestly and openly, to the best of my ability. Thank you.

9:25am. I wake up to a dark room, but the sun is shining behind my curtains.
Looking outside, it's a beautiful day for a train run!



Last week I learned how to make poached eggs using the microwave. Decided to try it out this morning.
1/2 cup of water and 1 minute in the microwave = perfect egg!



After breakfast I hit the donniker. I choose the one without a window because...well, see for yourself.


It's nice to have fans. But not everything needs to be posted to facebook :P

On the way back to my room, I see some new signage warning us to keep our junk out of the halls.
It's in several languages because we're multinational up in here.



As I near the end of the hallway, the train starts to move. I glance out the window. So long, Anacostia.


10:30am: I'm feeling lazy. This is where I will be spending most of my day.


Because from here, I can play on the computer AND watch the scenery go by.


I spend some time on Quora. It's an interesting Q&A site. Sometimes people give uninspired answers, though.


It doesn't take long for the train to stop moving. We are probably yielding to a train with more important freight, or a more pressing schedule. While we're stopped, I eat lunch. Oh...forgot to take a picture...


This peep is for dessert. Ignore the pleading look in its eye.


1pm-ish: My neighbor Tim (sax player) knocks on my door and asks if I'm having any problems with spiders. He's found three in his room so far today. I offer him some bug spray. With the weather getting warm, it's a good time to spray it around the door frames as the bugs like to follow us in from outside.


After talking with him, I put on my shower flip flops to take the trash out to the vestibule.


We are parked next to another passenger car. Wait, is that really a SWAT training car?? Neat!!


The train moves again, but this time it's really jerky.


We are probably just shifting a bit to attach more cars, or make way for another train. I check the latches on my cupboards and medicine cabinet to make sure everything's secure.



After a bit of jerking around, we sit still again. It's 2:30pm and we were supposed to leave at noon. Typical.
...and as soon as I type that, we start moving. For real this time. We go under an overpass.



I go onto the vestibule to take pictures as we pass through DC.



Sorry, you can't get on here :P


An Amtrak is coming. (Don't try this at home kids).



It occurs to me that maybe y'all don't know what the vestibule looks like. It's a small open space between train cars, where you can stand to smoke, socialize, or watch the scenery go by.



All too soon we are out of the city. I have to keep an eye on my internet signal now, it will go out as soon as we're out of Clearwire range. I go back inside to have a dried mango snack and enjoy the internet while it lasts.


We stop moving once again. Glancing at our route schedule, I see that we are doing a water stop in Alexandria, but I doubt we've made it that far yet.

Untitled
I wasn't going to start cooking until later, but may as well get it over with now.
A package of chicken thighs thawed last night; I put them in my NuWave oven (a very useful Christmas gift from my parents).



It has taken me some practice to learn how to properly cook on a moving vehicle.
Keeping an eye on the chicken and flipping it as needed, it's done in about 20 minutes.




Soon I lose my internet. We are moving quickly through Virginia woods and farmland. By nightfall we should be in the mountains, but it may be too dark for pictures :/


We are now moving at a decent clip. Am I allowed to post a short video clip, so you can see what it's like?
At 55mph, the train is loud. It's amazing to stand on the vestibule with the wind whipping past, feeling the vibration of the tracks under your feet, and the powerful pull of the engine. It's like riding a big silver dragon. There's nothing else like it!



4:00pm, I clean up and go back outside. I can tell that we are gaining altitude because my ears pop. I take a few pictures...



...but the scenery is a little bland so I go back inside and watch some shows.


5ish. As the sun begins to set, we pass through a small town.


This lady was excited, taking pictures of us :)


The train is going higher into the mountains.


A few minutes later, I see a homeless man walking along the tracks.
We see many homeless people on our travels.



Time to go inside. I'm not terribly hungry, so make a simple meal of a chicken thigh and some freezerburned veggies. Oh and the Trader Joe's sparkling sake I've been hoarding for two cities ;)


6:04pm: the door flies open, startling me. We are moving slowly around a sharp turn and the whole train is tilted slightly. The latch on my door is not strong, so gravity has taken over. The joys of living on a train.


6:45ish I go back out onto the vestibule in the hopes of catching a nice sunset. No such luck, but Tim, Oscar (clown) and Jameson (keyboard) soon join me for a brief hang.



Tim has brought one of the spiders from his room.


He eventually dumps it off the vestibule. Oscar tells us that he heard we'd be passing the Blue Unit train between 7:30-8:30pm. I stay outside until 8pm. We see some evening trainspotters. Professional trainspotters are easily recognized by their tripods...they know when we're coming, and wait for us.


I go back inside to watch some of the BBC's Planet Earth.


At 8:11pm we do pass the Blue Unit, and members of each circus stand on the vestibules to scream insults or wave :D
apr2014
(photo credit Mathew, train crew)

The train stops near Lynchburg. I drink some tea, take a shower, and conclude this post :)
Tomorrow we expect to reach Charleston, WV in the evening.
If you would like to see some pictures from the rest of the train run to Charleston, visit my blog on 4/28 or 29.
I hope you enjoyed traveling on the train with me!