Past entries on this blog have been about my experiences during several cross country trips on Amtrak. To add to the challenge of keeping a blog, I attempted to post those stories and pictures in real time. Back then, I called this blog The Great American Travelogue Experiment. My first posts were in May of 2005 when I rode the Sunset Limited from Los Angeles to Orlando. At the time, I thought the future of this route was in grave danger due to annual Amtrak budget cuts by Congress. I was right — but for the wrong reason. Three months after my trip, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast and wiped out some of the track between New Orleans and Orlando. More than two years later, the full route has not resumed and probably never will. I was probably one of the last few people to take pictures on this stretch of track and probably one of the first to attempt to do so in real-time. I made two subsequent Amtrak trips that I documented in real time — one if February of 2006 and another in August of 2006.

Now, one year later, the blog is back. However, this time it is no longer an experiment nor does it require the constant, daily grind necessary to properly document things in real time. Instead, this is now The Great American Travelogue Experience. It won’t be virtual and may not even be updated daily during the trips it will be documenting. But hopefully, this slower pace will produce better thoughts and better pictures — as well as a more enjoyable experience.

The first trip I will be documenting is a wedding/vacation in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii from Sept. 27 to Oct. 6.