Jerseygator's Blog


The Great Western Train Trek: Day 7 The California Coast

Posted in travel by jerseygator on November 18, 2010

We got up early to take a taxi to the train, but first we decided to go to a little Ukranian bakery for breakfast.  We had the most amazing pasty!  There were both

Salmon pasty

savory and sweet fillings, and we tried some of both.  I forgot to write down the name of the bakery, and the owner called them something else, but they were pasties. (BTW, googling this gives you a mix of pictures…these are the flakey pastries not the nipple covers.)  They were so good we decided to take some on the train for lunch.  The owner asked when we were leaving and, upon finding it would be an hour later, she offered to make us a fresh batch of our favorites.  Gives you hope, doesn’t it?

Pasty bag in hand, we went back to the train station, where we boarded and headed down the California coast to Sacramento.  It was amazing to see the green fields and growing vegetables, after the brown fields of the east and midwest.  We passed beautiful scenery: mountains, rivers, fields of fruit trees, even a wedding party!  At one point I felt something at my feet and looked down to find a dog…the lady behind me had her service dog with her and he claimed under my seat as his private bed.  Whatever, he was a cutie.

We did sleep in coach that night, but it was fine as there were no crying babies.  Not as nice as a sleeper, but ok for one night.  We spent most of the day in the observation car just enjoying the beautiful sites.

The next morning we got into Sacramento early…really early.  5am.  The Sacramento train station was very WPA.  I could practically see the depression era workers putting it together.  There was a Starbucks down the street (of course), but not much else.  We read and knitted and chatted but it was pretty boring.

Sacramento Train Station

Once the sun came up Kenzie and I decided to take a walk and discoverd “Old Sacramento.”  Why didn’t they have signs or something at the train station?  Old Sacramento was a wild west type village (read tourist trap) but it was pretty cool. We found a nice diner and had breakfast and perused what shops were open.  Going back to the station, I convinced Mom to walk back with me and get a cup of coffee and look around.

Old Sacramento...last picture before camera disaster struck

Here is where disaster struck…I dropped my camera!  This faithful camera has been with me to Europe (twice) and all over the US.  And I dropped it, irrevocably breaking it.  Even worse, we had no way to get any replacement as the train would be leaving soon.  Needless to say, the rest of the blog posts for the trip will be a bit blander.  Oh well.

Back on the train and settled into our sleeper cars we relaxed and got ready for yet another cross country journey to Chicago.  We met our steward and some of our car mates and found the diner and observation cars.  We’d become old hats at train travel by this time!

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