Train travel and the Art of Dying show in Flint

My friend, Tamara, lives in Michigan about an hour outside of Flint. This past June, a venue there called the Machine Shop announced an October 21 show with the Canadian hard rock band Art of Dying, and special guests Letters From the Fire and Children 18:3. I mused in a post about the show that I’d never had the chance to see Art of Dying live. Tamara said something to the effect of, why don’t you come up and check out the show? I decided that with a little planning and saving money, I could swing it. So I made travel and lodging arrangements, bought a ticket to the show, and started saving money. 

Remember, this was late June, early July. I was still saving money for the Disturbed show in August. 

After the Disturbed show, my ankles swelled, and I thought was from standing for practically the entire show. The fact that I had taken the train to Dallas didn’t even cross my mind. 

Realizing later that the short train ride to Dallas may have contributed to the swelling, I looked into purchasing compression socks, knowing in October, I’d be on trains for a day and a half. Each way.

October arrived and the compression socks were a dismal failure, because my legs, ankles and feet all swelled anyway. And I hadn’t even been the concert yet!

The compression socks did nothing for the swelling during the show. In fact, it got worse. I still had a 34 hour train journey to get home. 

By the time I got back to Oklahoma City, I was feeling like crud and physically exhausted. I slept most of Monday (10/24/16) away on the couch with my feet propped up on the arm. By this morning, a lot of the swelling had gone down. 

If there is a next time for a long distance train trip, there are some things I’d do differently–

  1. Get a sleeper berth
  2. Pack a blanket and a pillow
  3. Pack heathier snacks
  4. Travel with someone else
  5. Bring more spending money, because snacks on the train are expensive

The toll that train travel has on my body is a major deterrent from ever doing it again, at least long distance. I can handle the 4 hour trip on the Heartland Flyer (OKC to Fort Worth). Anything longer than that, and I’m a mess. 

That is what I learned from a trip to see one of my favorite bands. 


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