EXPERIMENT 2: Adventure Rides ‘Stinky Train’

The experiment continued today – it wasn’t the perfect scenario from a business perspective, but it was a fun, interesting and inexpensive adventure.

We took the Amtrak train from Denver to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. From Glenwood Springs we took a Greyhound bus to Vail.

The train ride was a unique experience – one that deserves its own blog post – I will say this, though … the beautiful Colorado scenery barely overshadowed the pungent aroma of body odor that occupied our train car.

I sent the following message via Facebook to my buddy Matt, who was traveling with me and sitting across the aisle … the message was entitled “Stinky Train”:  

“This train smells like a large sweaty man wearing a dirty diaper! WHEN IS IT GOING TO END? (BTW: Johnny Snorealot behind me has gas like a mule deer that got into some wild onions!)”

We opted for this planes, trains, and automobiles adventure as a costing-cutting measure. (On the same trip last year, we spent almost $400 on a rental car.) What we DIDN’T realize until after the 7-hour ride on “Stinky Train” – we could have taken a bus from Denver to Vail, been there 8 hours earlier, and saved $17.

FINANCIAL (Goal: $130 – Amount Spent: $67)

TRANSPORTATION: $45 total to Vail (included the train and bus fare)

– We were going to jump all over the Denny’s free Grand Slam Breakfast, but my cousin’s wife made us a hot breakfast instead. It turned out to be the best decision of the trip so far. When we drove past a Denny’s on the way to the train station, the parking lot was a zoo and the TV crew outside confirmed that we made the right call.

NOTE: Brilliant marketing campaign by Denny’s. I thought it was a solid commercial, a terrific offer, and a great branding tactic – “Isn’t it time for a serious breakfast?” What I loved the most … EVERYBODY was talking about it. (FYI: Normally, a Grand Slam Breakfast is $5.99.)

– Bottled water on the train (I left my Nalgene bottle on my cousin’s kitchen table in Denver) – $2

– Cup of coffee on the train – $2

We had a brief layover in Glennwood Springs, so I drank a couple pints of the local stout and had an appetizer.


– The train had electrical power to keep my laptop juiced, but I was disappointed there was no WiFi available. I was able to stay “connected” through my Blackberry – when we weren’t buried in some remote Colorado canyon – and our Director of Giving was on call to update the site if necessary.

– Typed up an e-mail proposal/quote request for our web developer and saved it in my Draft Folder so I could send it later in the day.

– Modified my publication proposal (Thanks, Mr. Bloomberg for your advice/guidance.)

– Played around with Photobooth on my MacBook – I tried practicing a new smile for a little while, but then I reverted back to my old standby. (see below)

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