“Riding Around America” — A Train Travel Diary

Mike Rogers is the principal of an elementary school and, I’m quite certain, a fine, upstanding and highly intelligent human being. That must be true because he loves train travel … like me and like most of you. And, of course, we’re all fine, upstanding, intelligent and thoroughly exemplary people, are we not?  

But Mike Rogers is also a writer and a photographer of no small talent. Ten years ago, he set out on an 8,000-mile journey circumnavigating the entire U. S. … or as close to that as the Amtrak system would permit.  Starting his journey in New York City, Mike rode the Crescent, the Sunset Limited, the Coast Starlight, one of the Cascades, the Empire Builder, and the Lake Shore Limited to go full circle. And he took photographs and made notes of everything, start to finish.

Now who among us wouldn’t love to take off for a couple of weeks on a rail itinerary like that! For those without the time or the money, there’s a way to do it vicariously, because Mike Rogers has just turned his entire experience – his day-to-day notes and some excellent photographs – into an e-book.

It’s a quirk of mine — probably a generational thing — but I particularly appreciate black-and-white photography. No doubt that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed Mike’s e-book: all of his photos are in black-and-white and many are quite artistic.

He’s not what many of us would call a “rail fan”, so there’s no nuts-and-bolts “train stuff” in the text. Nevertheless, the narrative held my attention and, as I said, a lot of the photography is really quite good.

So kudos to Mike Rogers for this ambitious undertaking. If you’re interested, you can check it out by clicking here.  For a modest $4.99, you can travel right along with Mike as he circumnavigates this great country by Amtrak. And that’s a helluva deal!