We were eagerly looking forward to riding the Amtrack Empire Builder from Saint Paul, Minnesota to Portland, Oregon for the inaugural World Domination Summit. We had reserved a family sleeping compartment for the two of us with windows on both sides of the train car, which would’ve saved us 4 nights in the hotel (two each way). I had packed my bags before leaving for work this morning, including post it notes we were planning to use to work on our elevator pitch during the 36 hour train ride. We were even looking forward to sampling the cuisine in the dining car.
Then this morning we found out that the train bridge in Minot, North Dakota is under water due to spring flooding caused by heavy rains. They are evacuating all 10,000 residents. The newly renovated train station is under water. Amtrack has another train, the SW Chief, that goes from Chicago to Los Angeles. But no availability until Friday. We wouldn’t get to Portland until Sunday.
Our remaining options were to drive or fly. Driving 1700 miles over three days is certainly doable, but then you have to turn around and drive back. For a weekend conference, it hardly makes sense. No post-it elevator pitch brainstorming. Lots of South Dakota and Montana. Too little Portland.
So we cashed in our train tickets and got on the first flight to Portland, with a short stop in Phoenix. We’ve already had a crash course in applying “Action Trumps Everything,” demonstrating flexibility and offsetting the disappointment of our imaginary train adventure with more time in Portland.
And if there was anyone from Minot who was planning to attend WDS, our thoughts and prayers are with you.