Yet Another Report from Boston

I love this city!

Boston is a big city that doesn’t feel like a big city. It’s also the biggest college town in the world. I’m told, and I believe, that from September through June, one out of every ten people walking down a Boston street is a college student. The last I heard, there are 63 colleges and universities located within a 25-mile radius of downtown Boston.

I’m staying in a little B&B just off of Kenmore Square (and, of course, a stone’s throw from Fenway Park). Most of the 5-story brownstones on the street are owned by Boston University. In fact, not more than a couple of hundred feet up the street is my old fraternity house. It’s a private residence now, but you can still see the rough outline of the Greek letters, Sigma Phi Epsilon, that were scraped off the stonework just over the front door.

I’ve had a conversation this morning with Amtrak about my return by train to the West Coast. It starts with a glitch: there is track work going on between here and Albany and trains aren’t running while it continues. That means I’m in for a five-plus-hour bus ride from here to Albany. That’s over five hours to travel 165 miles. Ugh!

My first thought is always to avoid a bus ride if possible, so I checked with Amtrak about heading by train back to New York City and catching the section of the Lake Shore Limited that originates there and with which I am scheduled to connect in Albany … thus cleverly missing the track work between Boston and Albany and the resulting bus ride. Alas, it was not to be. The replacement of the now-famous Thames River bridge in New London, Connecticut, will be underway that very same day — of course!! — and that would mean another, even longer, bus ride. So I’m stuck.

There was good news, however: I will be connecting in Chicago with the Empire Builder for the ride from there to Seattle. That train had been disrupted on several segments north of Chicago by the terrible flooding in the midwest, but flood waters have dimished in those areas now and that train is back to normal service.

All of which makes this a good time to note that such are the trials and tribulations that can occur with train travel. I must emphasize that most of the time, things do go smoothly. The only forseeable problem that could be in store for me would occur if the Lake Shore should be more than 4 or 5 hours late getting into Chicago, thus jeopardizing my connection with the Empire Builder. Never fear. I shall keep you posted.

And now I’m off to Fenway Park and today’s game between the Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals!

More to come.