Saturday, August 20, 2011

If the columns could speak...

My crazy adventures to state of Michigan included a few new travel mediums for me. I decided to travel the cheap method by taking MegaBus and Amtrak to get to Battle Creek. I traveled from Kansas City to Chicago on a 10 hour night bus and then traveled on to Battle Creek via Amtrak. They were both less than desired ways to travel in the US simply because our society is still way too convenient for car traffic, but not other forms of transportation. Megabus is a super cheap method of travel, however, I felt like I was riding on a cattle truck. Packed in like sardines we were for the 10 hours of travel on a freezing cold bus. The Amtrak trip was much more enjoyable although the four hour trip turned into a six hour trip because Amtrak has to wait for all the other freight trains because there are no Amtrak specific rail lines. Coal and corn are more important than people and get first choice on the tracks. Nonetheless, I traveled round trip to Battle Creek from Kansas City for a mere $80. I'll take it!

The plus side of this form of transportation involved the layover in Chicago's Union Station. I beautiful building that I was able to inhabit for several late evening hours on a weeknight. As I sat in the Union Station Grand Room, I was simply in awe. In awe of the beauty of the room as I attempted to imagine what the room was like years ago when trains were the only method of long distance travel. I'm sure the room would have been bustling even in the late night hours. I sprawled out on the giant benches and enjoyed the moment of history...

As I sat there late into the evening, I was able to watch the cleaning crew scrub the marble. It really was quite the production as they applied this foamy mixture to the floor corners and ledges of the marble columns. Then they got out a scrubber and scrubs, followed by rinse, and mopping. I was quite entertained by the simple action of cleaning and thinking how many people had made their way across the country through this great hall.

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