I made the most of my railpass and made the trip from West to the Mid-West (which really should be Mid-East...), Chicago to be more precise. If you've seen the post from my train ride from Toronto to Vancouver, you'll already know how much I like taking pictures from my seat. The ride was 3 days, 2 nights and we crossed 7 states, admired spectacular mountain ranges, canyons, rivers and plains. Out of all the train rides I could do, I wanted to do the California Zephyr the most. I wish I'd had the guts to ask the people I met and talked with on the train if I could take a photo... they were just as interesting as the scenery. I talked travel and politics with Mac from San Francisco who was heading all the way to Siberia by train (aside from the flight from New York to Copenhagen), had dinner in the dining car with John and Sharon who were farmers in Ohio, Pat, an 85 year old woman, who showed me how to use her nook and countless others. I learnt a bit about the Pioneers who were some of the first people to make the trip West (other than the natives of course!) and shared my fellow passengers awe of their feat. The land is truly amazing - I enjoyed the ride but I SO wanted to jump off the train and explore (again and again and again!).
PS. For my friends who thought I was crazy to consider going to Nebraska (erm because it didn't hold that much appeal - well at least not compared to other states), I did make it through there... tho' sadly, I slept through it (not on purpose - Nebraska was during the night bit of the train trip - honest!). Any Nebraskans out there, I don't mean to do your state a disservice - I'm still intrigued by all the places that are less obvious destinations for tourists. Anyway, feel free to post your travel tips in case I ever make it there!