Jerseygator's Blog

The Great Western Train Trek: Days 8-11 Cross Country USA

Posted in travel by jerseygator on November 18, 2010

Well, without pictures it will be hard to describe the incredible beauty we experienced on this leg of our train trek.  Starting in Sacramento, CA, we traveled through the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada mountains, seeing incredible vistas.  I was actually glad that I didn’t have my camera, as I didn’t want to look away from the window.  At one point we went through a tunnel at the Continental Divide (you don’t go over it, you go under it) and, although the beginning of the tunnel had grey overcast skies, we came out the other end into a full blown snowstorm!  We were like kids, pressing our noses up to the window and marveling at the beauty of it all.

We followed the Colorado River for over 200 miles, seeing rapids (and white water rapid boaters, as well), eagles and deer.  From Sacramento to Denver we had a docent from the Railroad Museum on board, who would discuss the sites on the overhead, allow us to learn about the places we were passing.  This really made the trip interesting and fun.

Stopping in Denver, Kenzie and I walked around a bit looking for a bookstore, to no avail.  However, if we had wanted a beer or a steak we would have been in luck, as we must have passed 4 brewery/pub/steakhouses on our 1 block walk.  We also stopped for a few minutes in Grand Junction, CO where we found an entrepreneur selling huge, hot cinnamon rolls.  After the train started rolling, we wished we had bought two!

When we rolled into Chicago we fulfilled the other requirement of foodies in the Windy City…Chicago style hot dogs!  Fully loaded, peppers, pickles and all.  So good, and just not the same anywhere else.  Not sure what Mom and Kenzie thought of it, but I could eat one daily.  Probably a good thing I don’t live anywhere near Chicago, come to think of it.

Next stop Washington, DC, where we said goodbye to Mom.  She boarded a train for Florida, and we boarded our train to Philly.  It was nice to be home and see family.  I can’t wait for my next train trip and am already planning to get Darrol on a trek!  He went to Florida via plane just a couple weeks after we got home and, albeit fast, the discomfort and personal intrusion has just taken all the fun out of flying.  Hopefully, Congress will continue supporting Amtrak and America will figure out the high speed rail is the way to go for the future.


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