This travelogue covers my journey on the Amtrak Southwest Chief from Chicago, Illinois to Fullerton, California just after the largest winter storms that the midwest has seen in 30 years! Linked to this travelogue you will find picturesthat were taken from the train.
1999 JAN 09 SAT 17:00
As soon as I got off the Amtrak Lake Shore Limited, I headed down the platform. Train #5, the California Zephyr, was on the other side of the same platform with our train and passengers connecting to that train just had to cross the platform to make their connection. Before I even got off the Lake Shore Limited, I noticed that the Amtrak Southwest Chief was over one platform from us. So, I headed to the end of our platform, crossed over and came back up the platform for the Southwest Chief.
I think they must have just started the boarding as I seemed to be the very first one to board the train, but there were other people heading up behind me! My car, #0331, was the very first car that I came to. I guess now that the holiday travel is over they are only running with two sleeping cars, #0330 and #0331. This train is sold out, and no wonder why with only two sleeping cars!
Calvin was right at the door and directed me to my room, though I already knew my Room #2 would be the first room at the right at the top of the stairs, right across from Room #1 of the Car Attendant. It took me about 10 minutes to set up the room the way that I like it for my videocamera, computer, luggage, etc.
This crew really seems to have their act together! Calvin, the Car Attendant, made a very long announcement over the Public Address (P.A.) System and gave a very detailed explanation about everything in each room, in each car, and overall about the train! I always thought it was much more reasonable for a Car Attendant to make a long detailed announcement over the P.A. than to go to each room and give a shorter explanation. The Car Attendant should still go to each room to introduce himself personally after the long P.A. explanation. Then he can spend his time answering questions that each individual might still have instead of spending all his time repeating the same explanation about the room over and over again.
The Car Attendant wasn't the only one to make long detailed announcements over the P.A. System. Just about every staff member explained about their particular role and what they provided onboard the train! Tom, the Cafe Car Attendant, gave detailed instructions of how to get to the Cafe Car Snack Bar area and gave a long list of everything that he had to offer. When I went down there, I found Tom to be very friendly and entertaining. He did magic tricks whenever a child stepped up to buy something.
T.J.Howard, the Chief of Onboard Services, gave very detailed information about the train over the P.A. System and said that he would do everything in his power to make this a very enjoyable trip for everyone. Richard, the top staff person in the Dining Car, didn't announce anything, but the Car Attendant and Chief mentioned him. Richard came by to each room less than 15 minutes after the train boarded giving everyone dinner reservations. So far, I don't think I've ever seen a staff right on top of everything like this staff. Not even on the Amtrak Coast Starlight!
Shortly after the 3:45 P.M. departure time Tom already had the Cafe Car open. Calvin had coffee and ice ready I think before I even boarded the train!
Although this train departed Chicago over 4 hours late due to mechanical problems with one of the locomotives, I really appreciated that they let the passengers board the train on schedule. Often when there is such a delay, passengers are not allowed to board the train until the train is ready to go. I don't know if Amtrak has taken any surveys, but I think most passengers would rather wait through the delay in their accommodation or coach seat rather than in the waiting room. I know that is true for me. I even prefer to be in my Sleeping Car Room rather than the best Metropolitan Lounge that Amtrak has to offer! There is a certain sense of feeling like you are underway while you are on the train, even if the train is just sitting in the station. When the train is very late departing and you are still in the waiting room at the station, there is more of a feeling that you are in limbo!
Coach passengers can be apprehensive about where they will be sitting once they board. They wonder if all family members will be sitting together. People traveling alone wonder how crowded the train will be and who they may have to sit next to. People are concerned where their carry on luggage will fit. Those traveling for the first time are often apprehensive about the whole situation and sometimes wonder if they will be packed in like on buses or coach seating on discount air travel. This apprehensiveness is exacerbated and extended by delaying the boarding procedure. All of that can be eliminated by letting the passengers board on time even when there will be a delay in the departure. People need time to settle in, get familiar with their surroundings, and even the crew has a number of introductions and preparations to make once the passengers are loaded. This can all be done during the time of the departure delay and will make that delay time seem much shorter and more pleasant to the passengers.
In addition, by boarding the passengers on time, the overall late departure time of the train will be reduced. Since the boarding process can take 15 to 30 minutes at the point of origination, that time is just added to the delay if boarding doesn't start until the mechanical difficulty is solved. By having everyone already on board, the train can leave as soon as the mechanical problem is solved!
Another nice touch by this crew was that they did start the first seating of dinner right on time at 6 P.M., even though we were still sitting in the Chicago Amtrak Station. This certainly made the time go by very fast for those having dinner on the train! I was once on a delayed Southwest Chief where they delayed serving until after the train left Chicago. I think the first seating on that trip ended up being at 8:30 P.M. and further seatings were at 10:30 P.M. and beyond! Many people skipped dinner completely because they did not like to eat so late at night. Thus, I really want to thank this crew for providing dinner on time. Though, I do understand that some mechanical problems can prevent the operation of the kitchen and delays in serving on previous rail trips might have been beyond the control of the crew.
1999 JAN 09 SAT 19:25
OK, now for the serious stuff! If you've read all my previous travelogues, you know that I strongly recommend that you don't make the time between Amtrak connections any less than 6 hours. If your layover time is less than that, stay a night in the connecting city! Take a tour of that city with your extra time! If you've read all the travelogues of this rail journey, then you know that I violated my own rule on that and had to pay the consequences. The consequences were sitting on the edge of my seat for much of the journey wondering if it was going to work out or not, and then a ride to Montreal by van instead of by rail!
To give you a hint of where I'm heading with this line of thought, I just got back from my 6 P.M. dinner reservation (it is now 7:25 P.M.) and we are still stilling inside the Chicago Amtrak Station, just a few feet from the waiting room! I had dinner in the Dining Car at 6 P.M., but the Dining Car and the entire Amtrak Southwest Chief is still sitting right where I boarded it in the Chicago Amtrak Station! This train was scheduled to leave Chicago at 3:45 P.M., 3 hours and 40 minutes ago! We still don't know when we will be ready to go.
I had a New York Strip Steak served with a large mushroom, mashed potatoes, vegetables and a roll along with a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. For desert I had hot Apple Pie a la mode. Everything was served quickly, hot and delicious! The name of our server was Rudy. He had both his first and last name on his name tag but I wasn't able to read his last name. Almost everyone else just had their first name on their tag. Then, I had an experience that I've never had before in over 120,000 miles of travel on Amtrak: the chef came to each table and asked each patron if everything was satisfactory!
It is hard to believe that all the members of this onboard service crew are spontaneously informative, friendly, and helpful in every way they can find. Although, since you can select the job you want at Amtrak based on seniority, it is possible that people with similar work attitudes would select to work together. More likely it is either the Chief of Onboard Services or someone above that position that has instilled this customer oriented attitude in this crew.
If you were on this train and planned to make the connection in Los Angeles to the Coast Starlight, it would never have worked. Whenever someone asks me, I warn then strongly to not attempt a connection from the Southwest Chief, the Sunset Limited, nor the Texas Eagle to the Coast Starlight. Although Amtrak will "guarantee" those connections, that just means they will bus you to catch up with the Coast Starlight, even if they have to bus you all the way to Sacramento (completely missing all of the beautiful California coast line!).
So, I'll warn you once again. If you are heading to California to connect with the Coast Starlight heading north, do plan to spend a night in Los Angeles before heading north on the Coast Starlight. If spending a day in Los Angeles doesn't appeal to you, then take the Amtrak San Diegans up to Santa Barbara and spend the night there. There are 4 Amtrak San Diegans that go up to Santa Barbara each day plus connecting buses for other times of the day. Thus, no matter what time your train arrives into Los Angeles, you will be able to connect to a train (or bus in worst case) up to Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is a beautiful sea side town with much to see, but it is totally opposite of the urban atmosphere of Los Angeles. The hotel prices are high, but the relaxing atmosphere of this town are well worth the prices. Spend the night in Santa Barbara and connect with the Coast Starlight out of Santa Barbara around noon the next day. You won't be sorry for spending the extra day in this town! The greatest benefit, of course, is that you get to relax on your westbound Amtrak train trip without worrying about making your connection to the Coast Starlight.
It's great to be on the final segment home! Now the delays don't matter to me. The delays just mean that I'll see some places in the morning that are usually to dark to see when the train is on time. I don't have any more connections to make when I reach Fullerton, so it really doesn't matter how late I arrive into Fullerton. My office is right at the station and my car is in the garage in Fullerton.
1999 JAN 09 SAT 19:38
Finally on our way! I hope the locomotive that they had a real hard time getting working continues to work the rest of the way to Fullerton, California! They seem to have a lot of locomotives here in Chicago. I don't understand why they can't just take off the questionable locomotive and put on one they know is good. They can work of the questionable locomotive later rather than delaying the departure of this train while trying to figure out the problem.
1999 JAN 09 SAT 19:41
Whoops! 3 minutes later and I think the locomotive died again! We are now sitting in the Chicago Amtrak Yard with power completely out in the train. They are still working on figuring out what is wrong with this train. Now they are stretching out the train without power.
Maybe there isn't a problem. They are adding the express cars onto the end of the train. Hopefully this was just a power down so they could add the express cars to the end of the train.
Downstairs I saw a person wearing a T-shirt with an Amtrak Safety Award from 1992. He had a radio on the current road channel. I figured with that T-shirt he had to be an Amtrak employee. I asked him if he was on duty or was traveling off-duty. He explained that he was one of the Assistant Conductors on the train. Usually the Conductors are pretty obvious because they are usually in enough of a uniform to identify themselves as Conductors. This Conductor wasn't. As I mentioned, the only indication that he was likely some type of Amtrak employee was his safety award T-shirt.
1999 JAN 09 SAT 20:12
Finally on our way west again! From a scheduled 3:45 P.M. departure we are now leaving at 8:12 P.M., 4 hours and 30 minutes later. I won't calculate the official delay until we get to Naperville, Illinois. There is some talk over the radio about the rear marker lights not working on the rear sleeper (that would be my car, the #0331 car). I don't know why that would be a problem if we have express cars behind us. They said they would check them in Naperville.
1999 JAN 09 SAT 20:44
We left Naperville, Illinois at 8:44 P.M. Thus, we are not as far behind schedule as it first appeared in Chicago, but still pretty far behind. We left Naperville just 3 minutes short of being 4 hours late. Unless we make up some time, that will put us into Fullerton at around 11:23 A.M.
1999 JAN 10 SUN 06:17
The engineer was mentioning to the conductor that part of our problem of getting going was that we have 3 engines. At first I thought he meant it was a problem because we had 3 instead of 2 and that somehow with the extra engine it took more effort to get going. That didn't seem to make much sense, but then I realized that the Southwest Chief often has 4 engines. The engineer must have meant we have 3 instead of the usual 4 and that is why the train is a bit sluggish. He said: "It will pull the cars, but it will just be a bit slow getting going."
I went to bed early for me last night. If you consider the difference in time zones, I went to bed really early! The time was about 10 P.M. Central Time which would be 8 P.M. Pacific Time. I probably should have tried to stay up real late, like until 2 A.M. to start to readjust to California time, but I was really tired. I figured it would be better to go to sleep early and even get a bit of extra sleep. That seemed to have been the right thing to do as I got up at 5 A.M. after 7 hours sleep and was pretty refreshed and ready to go! Of course, I'll suffer the consequences in California where 5 A.M. Central Time would be only 3 A.M. in California!
During the night I woke up a few times for a few minutes. I always tend to do that and it is never a problem as I can just turn over and go back to sleep. When I do wake up, I usually will take a look at the clock and schedule to see how far we have progressed while I was sleeping. For some reason, it is usually when we are sitting still in stations that I will wake up. That makes it convenient for trying to figure out where we are. I was a bit surprised that I woke up about 3 times and each time found that we were still sitting in Kansas City! We did get under way while I was awake the last time and found that we were heading out of Kansas City at 2:20 A.M. We had arrived into Kansas City at 2:20 A.M., 2 hours and 48 minutes behind schedule, but left at 5:10 A.M., 5 hours and 15 minutes behind schedule! Somehow we had lost almost another 3 hours in Kansas City!
1999 JAN 10 SUN 12:29 Central Time
The train is traveling through a part of Kansas that in normally goes through during the night both ways. Actually, this is a good area to go through at night. It is pretty much flat plains for as far as the eye can see for miles and miles. Being the winter time, the view is of farm fields that are not in production this time of year. There is nothing but empty fields for hours on end except for the occasional grain processing plant, silo, or small town. Even those are few and far between. Right now the train is 4 hours and 40 minutes late. The train will be going through much of the good scenery of the southwest, New Mexico and Arizona, after the sun has set.
1999 JAN 10 SUN 18:38 Mountain Time
The last station was Las Vegas, New Mexico and the next will be Lamy, New Mexico, the closest the Santa Fe Railroad actually ever got to the city of Santa Fe! We running 4 hours and 28 minutes behind schedule.
I forgot to mention that this is a Superliner II Sleeping Car. The first thing I do before I set up my equipment in the room after boarding the train is to close the door and drapes. The door drape is full length and attaches to one side of the door frame with Velcro. The other side slips into a space in the door frame. However, I was having quite a problem with the drape that covers the window between my room and the aisle. The Velcro on the window drape didn't match up with anything! Then, I noticed that the drape didn't even reach the bottom of the window and someone had taped cloth to the window to block the view into the room through that part of the window that the drape did not cover. It looks like the drape might have gotten damaged in some way and it had been shortened. But, by shortening the drape, it no longer covered the full length of the window!
I know it might be a little picky, but I think Amtrak should either use the little chocolate mints the way they were meant to be used or they should discontinue buying them and save their money. There are many little things that can be done on the train that are not very costly but really impress the passengers that a ride on the rails in the Sleeping Car is truly a first class experience. The Amtrak Coast Starlight has this down to a science: fresh flowers in every room and on every dining table, real silverware, china and linen tablecloths and napkins in the Dining Car, a wood and brass serving bar in the Pacific Parlour Car, etc. The little chocolate mints are one more item that is added to give that first class experience. They are suppose to be placed on your pillow after your Car Attendant sets up your bed, just like they do in first class hotels. All too often the Car Attendant just puts a big pile of them in a plastic cup at the beverage center. I don't think that adds to the impression of first class service and is probably just money needlessly spent by Amtrak. Overall it probably doesn't cost very much, but Amtrak could get a lot more bang for so little money spent by just making sure the Car Attendants place them on the pillows. As I said, I know it is a small complaint, but just a lot of little things can really give the passenger a much better impression of their experience on the train.
Let me run another one by you! In a number of places I have read that one of the biggest complaints of Amtrak staff is that people who walk though the Dining Car and see the staff sitting at a table eating will often ask them: "You eat too?" Now obviously this is a dumb question. But I don't think that is really what the passenger means to ask. I think the passenger is really asking: "You get to eat the same food that we do in the Dining Car (And is Amtrak covering the cost of your food? Is it one of the benefits of your job?)"
This really isn't a simple question. First, to answer the implied question, this is one of the job benefits and Amtrak does cover the cost of the employee's meal. There are at least three type of meal checks: Sleeping Car Passengers, Coach Passengers, and On Board Service Crew Staff. Sleeping Car Passengers just sign for their meal as it is included with the cost of the room, except for alcoholic beverages which must be paid for separately (Also, the tip is not included in the cost of your Sleeping Car Room and you should leave that in cash before you leave the table). Coach Passengers pay for their meal just like at a regular restaurant. Amtrak accepts cash and major credit cards. They must accept American Express as I have not seen Amtrak in any of the: "And we don't take American Express" VISA commercials!
One time they ran out of Sleeping Car Passenger meal checks and they gave me a Onboard Service Crew meal check instead. The service attendant got a little confounded when I ordered a glass of wine as there is not place to check off alcoholic beverages on the onboard service crew meal check! He just had to write it in. That wasn't that hard to adjust. Certainly no harder than when I've gone into a regular restaurant that were given service station charge slips instead of restaurant charge slips and tried to figure out where to write in the tip when the only options were "Gas" and "Oil"!
Getting on with further complications, even though meal are provided for the onboard service staff, they are not provided for Conductors and Engineers. The Conductors and Engineers belong to a totally different union with totally different agreements with Amtrak. Also, where many of the onboard service staff work from about 5am to Midnight and stay with you for your entire trip, the Conductors and Engineers change about every 8 hours. By law, they cannot work more than 12 hours. They will even stop the train in the middle of nowhere and wait for a relief crew if necessary to avoid working over the 12 hours. That rarely happens, but don't blame them if you are on a train that gets delayed in a remote area. They would be in violation of Federal Law and subject to fine and/or suspension if they worked beyond the maximum 12 continuous hours (not to mention the union penalties that might be imposed!).
Although the Conductors and Engineers are not entitled to free food from the train, the kitchen crew sometimes look the other way on this. Probably more so for Conductors than Engineers. But, it is also not uncommon for the kitchen to send some food up to the front end for the Engineer.
The question is really regarding the status of the on board service crew. When we are passengers on the train, are they are hosts or our servants? The Amtrak Coast Starlight seems to have set a policy that makes the status of the on board service crew quite clear. Neither the service crew nor the Conductors are allowed to eat in the Dining Car with the passengers. They have to take their meals back to the Dorm Car. Thus, that was the way that product line solved the problem of the "What, you eat too?" question ... the passengers never see the crew eating in the Dining Car.
I don't think I would necessarily agree with that decision. I've spoken to some on board service crew members both on and off the Coast Starlight that have worked that train at one time or another and, as you can imagine, they definitely resent that policy. Personally, I would rather see the on board service crew regarded like the senior staff on a cruise ship. I think we need to compromise on this. Let them eat in the Dining Car, but not off at a table with other crew members. Rather, they should mix and sit with the passengers.
I don't know if your sympathies are with the crew or with the passengers, but let's think this through before forming opinions. Have you taken a cruise? It is considered an honor to be at a table with a senior staff member. Not only that, but it adds a lot to the conversation because you can learn a lot about the ins and outs of the cruise ship that you would not learn with just other passengers at your table. In a similar fashion, I think it would really enhance the whole rail travel experience to sit and dine with any staff member of the train. I don't care if we are talking about your Car Attendant, the Onboard Service Crew Chief, the Cafe Car Attendant, a Conductor or Assistant Conductor including the Baggage Handler, and even a Dining Car Service Person or Chef, if they ever shift off and are able to eat during the times passengers eat. I'm certain the tales they could tell would be every bit as interesting as the conversations that other passengers share with each other, who are usually strangers until they sit down at the same table together.
You might be thinking that these staff members have enough of dealing with passengers and deserve a break while they eat. I know the staff has to put up with a lot. However, I think having them eat with passengers can go a long way to bringing down barriers and make the entire train trip a more educational and enjoying experience for both passengers and crew alike. I know there are many that would prefer to look at the service crew as servants, but like it or not, we are in an age of "Flight Attendants" instead of "Stewardesses" and "Sleeping Car Attendants" instead of "Pullman Porters." They don't shine your shoes while you sleep any more, but they can offer you a wealth of experience and education that can enhance the overall experience of your train trip.
If the choice came down to the three options of (1) having the train crew eat at tables just with each other in the Dining Car where they are the target of the "Oh, you eat too?" questions, (2) sent of to the Dorm Car to eat away from passengers, or (3) eat with the passengers and share in the conversation with passengers, I'd select option (3).
1999 JAN 10 SUN 21:58 Mountain Time
I'm not sure why I can't even get more than a two work sentence out of Calvin, my Car Attendant. Others seem to strike up a conversation with him but I seem to only get 2 or 3 word answers from him. Maybe I ask the wrong questions. What has our conversation consisted of so far? I asked him if he managed to get much sleep last night: "No." I asked him if people often called him during the night interrupting his sleep: "Yes." In Albuquerque, I asked him what he thought the temperature might be like: "I don't know." And as a follow-up, I asked if he though it might be very cold or more toward the mild, figuring he could draw on his experiences of stopping here on every trip he takes on this train, but all I got was: "Don't know." But, it must be something about me as I've seen him carry on friendly lengthy conversations with others. In terms of his thoroughness of providing for all the needs of his passengers, informing them about everything to do with this trip, promptly taking care of every special request, plus always being available somewhere in his Sleeping Car around the clock, I can't fault him. He gets the highest mark in my book. I'll just have to go back to the drawing board and figure out some better ways to initiate conversations!
Regarding the original late departure from Chicago, I was told by many passengers that this was the first run for the lead Genesis locomotive #73. It was only suppose to take about 30 minutes to check out all the systems, but problems developed and that stretched into several hours.
Update from Jan 17, 1999: Genesis #73 was definitely not a new locomotive. This was confirmed to me by 3 different people: an avid Amtrak traveler, an Amtrak Conductor, and someone who has worked on this engine in the Amtrak Redondo Yard. My next guess is that this train left without the new locomotive after Amtrak was not able to get it operational. The Amtrak Southwest Chief often runs with 3 or 4 locomotives. With the number of express cars at the end of this train, this was one of the trains that they would usually run with 4 locomotives. However, when I inspected it, there were only 3 locomotives. Running with 3 instead of 4 locomotives would explain the Engineers comments to the Conductor that the 3 locomotives would be enough to pull the train but that acceleration is going to be a bit slow.
1999 JAN 10 SUN 23:39 Mountain Time
Another little tip: When you are done using any of the bathrooms on the train, make sure you shut the door after you leave and that the latch catches solid. It is very annoying to the people seated near the bathrooms to listed to the door continually swing back and forth and bang against the door frame with the swaying motion of the train. There was a couple in the handicapped room in my car. I'm sure that quite often people would leave the door open and swinging after they finished using the bathroom next to the handicapped room. One of them would come out from time to time and tightly shut the bathroom door. It must be very annoying to have to go out of your room to close the bathroom door almost every time someone uses it!
1999 JAN 11 MON 07:46 Pacific Time
Here we go again! We left Barstow about 20 minutes ago at 7:24 A.M. running just about 3 hours late. The passengers going onto the northbound Amtrak Coast Starlight are going to be set off at San Bernardino. They haven't announced yet where the buses will catch up to the Amtrak Coast Starlight. There may be enough time to cut across on U.S. Route 10 and catch up to the train in Santa Barbara. If they can do that, the passengers won't lose too much view of the coast. More likely, they will send the buses all the way up to San Luis Obispo to catch up with the Coast Starlight. In that case, it is all over. Those passengers will have missed the best of the scenery from the entire route of the Coast Starlight until it gets to the mountains in Oregon. In the opinion of some people, the Amtrak Coast Starlight section from Los Angeles to San Luis Obispo is the most scenic of all Amtrak's routes in the country. The only other one that I have found that comes really close for more dramatic scenery is the Amtrak California Zephyr going through the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains. So ... if you plan to connect from any westbound train to the northbound Amtrak Coast Starlight, it is well worth laying over one day in southern California between trains. As I mentioned before, if the idea of spending a day in Los Angels doesn't appeal to you, then connect from your westbound train to one several northbound San Diegans that can take you up to Santa Barbara and spend the night there. You will still get to enjoy the wonderful coastal view between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara from the Amtrak San Diegan.
I know for some of you that are on special Amtrak travel plans, spending a day in Los Angeles may cause a problem in that it puts you outside the number of stop overs that you are allowed to make under some excursion discount plans. I suggest that you work with one of the travel agents that has extensive experience with Amtrak travel that is to be found on the web page at: www.trainweb.com/agencies.htmland try and work out the lowest cost travel that will allow you to spend a day in southern California between trains. You are spending so much money for your rail excursion, it would be a shame to miss what might be the most scenic and memorable segment of your entire journey! I wish Amtrak would modify their policies to encourage passengers to lay over for a day in southern California rather than discourage it. It would make it less costly for Amtrak to not have to run those extra buses and would certainly take a lot of stress off passengers and overall leave them with a better impression of Amtrak. I certainly know that I'm on the edge of my seat all the way when my train is running late and I haven't left enough time between connecting trains! It isn't easy to relax and enjoy the ride if you don't know what is going to happen when you arrive too late to connect with your next train!
Another announcement was just made that all passengers going on to the northbound Amtrak Coast Starlight, the northbound Amtrak San Joaquins, or the connecting bus to Las Vegas, are to get off at San Bernardino. No announcement has yet been made as to where the bus will catch up to the Coast Starlight.
1999 JAN 11 MON 10:15 Pacific Time
I made it back to the TrainWeb office in Fullerton, California! The very last few shots in the last set of photos below are shots of the Amtrak Southwest Chief that I just got off from taken from the TrainWeb office upstairs from the Amtrak ticket office. There is also a close-up of one of our webcams taken from the station platform. Our final arrival was about 3 hours late into Fullerton.
The following photos were taken from the Amtrak Southwest Chief.
Click here for the travelogue of the previous segment of this rail journey.
Click here for the travelogue of the first segment of this rail journey.