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Turns out I had timed our January arrival in Chicago via Amtrak’s Southwest Chief to coincide with the delivery of the Arctic Circle’s Polar Vortex. I say “turns out” because planning the trip had nothing to do with advance weather forecasts. Even if it had, I would not have been put off by any climate effects emerging from something that sounded like a new thrill ride on the city’s Navy Pier, or a new constellation of planetary alignment revealing itself for the first time in Chicago’s night sky. In this I would soon become much enlightened.