The train was crowded, with regulars and fliers displaced by the snowstorms in the Northeast, but still roomy and relatively quiet. I'm sure the fare subsidy from NCDOT doesn't hurt the popularity of that route. Instead of roaring down I-95 with Fatboy Slim, Massive Attack, Pelican or, God help me, the B-52s blowing out my hearing, I sat serenely in near-silence, read the entire Sunday paper and spent a decadently long time doing the crosswords, and then tucked into some tasty articles and stories in Granta. All along the way I saw some gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous scenery, especially after Richmond as we rode in and out of the trees along the Potomac in the fading afternoon. The river was so wide at that point it looked more like a frosty-blue lake. I even got to see some snow falling, briefly, in Rocky Mount! Sigh... As we traveled north into Virginia, the snow on the ground got heavier and heavier. It was a welcome dose of wintry scenery after the hideous premature warmth of January.
Now if my seatmate hadn't plugged a skanky mango/passion/generic-tropical-fruit Glade air freshener into the seat-side outlet it would have been perfect. WTF was she thinking? That can't possibly be the use God intended when He inspired Amtrak's engineers to place outlets by every seat as a standard amenity, along with the lovely blue-green ocean-patterned upholstery.