Well, dinner wasn't great, but it could've been worse. There was a sweet potato gnocchi special last night, but when I ordered the server said, "That's straight up nasty." I thought he was joking and waited for him to correct himself and tell me it was amazing. Instead, he just stared at me. I asked if he was serious and he replied, "I'm not messing with you. That is disgusting." So, I opted for the butternut squash risotto instead.
The dining car is community seating, which means introverts need to be ready for some small talk - at least for part of the meal. The staggered reservation times meant I was joined by two women on a mother-daughter trip about the time I was ready for dessert. We chatted while I ate some cheesecake, and then it was time for me to return to the roomette for some work. Progress was a little slow. I tend to work better in the morning than at night, and struggled to get into a rhythm. I tried posting the Day 2 article, but it turns out cell service is pretty spotty (read: nonexistent) in the middle of nowhere, NV. Given that I touted the iPhone-as-hotspot during my first leg of the trip, I want to amend that tip for anyone thinking of doing something like this. Make sure you have everything you need downloaded and accessible without the internet, and don't hesitate to post or send something if you have a signal.
After surrendering to the northern Nevada dead spot, I finished up the sets of new items from the night before and then tried to write. After failing to gain momentum, I went to watch the sunset from the observation car, and then for a nightcap in the lounge/cafe below. Pro tip: you can BYOB if you have private accommodations, but not anywhere else on the train. Drink in hand, I returned to the roomette to find my bunk had been made (he attendants provide turn-down service). It's nice not to have to worry about setting up the sleeper, but it did happen a little earlier than I expected. Determined not to make that an excuse to skirt work for the evening, I ground out a meager 562 words before realizing that the time change across the Nevada-Utah line meant that I head better turn in and collect as much of the 5 hours of sleep time available to me.
Sleep was intermittent, as the ride was rocky and the room was a little warm and stuffy (I'm pretty confident the climate control knob doesn't actually connect to anything). Still, I actually felt pretty rested when I woke at 4:00 am. I freshened up and hopped off the train at 4:30 and walked into town to find everything closed (not surprising). So, I created a makeshift workstation where I found a plug outside a realtor's office. Here's hoping a coffee shop opens soon!