Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Headed East on the California Zephyr

A Travelogue......   a little late in coming, because life has been busy - but nonetheless, the story of my train trip from San Francisco to Denver...

Now, mind you, my friends thought I was nuts to take the train for 33 hours, instead of flying for six... but I have always always wanted to travel far by train - it sounded romantic and beautiful, so I thought this was the time...

According to the Amtrak website, the California Zephyr is the most beautiful train route in the country... well, after a long and stressful year in the "day job", I was ready for some relaxation and beautiful scenery... 

Boarding in Emeryville (near San Francisco) , one looked around and sees the wide range of people - families with children, senior citizens, young people with backpacks...  all ready for a bit of adventure.  I couldn't help wondering what compelled them to use this mode of transportation - unless you are willing to sit up in coach all night, travelling with a sleeper compartment is more expensive than a plane...  but I had no time to delve into their stories.  Cause - here comes the train to the Emeryville stop !!!!  I hear the whistle blowin...............(thanks, Johnny Cash)

  Soon enough, in rolled the train, and the cry of "All Aboard" was heard up and down the train. 
I climbed into my little Roomette, No. 5, and settled in - within minutes, this tidy little space was crammed with "stuff"...  shoes off, pillow ready for naps, I was comfy... that little table pulls out for a great working or snacking space !  And I had brought along enough needle work for about a month, so I was sure to have plenty to do !!!

Day One was a travel across California...  we headed out of the San Francisco Bay area, and soon passed by Suisun Bay, where our Navy stores a large fleet of mothballed WW II ships - these ships can not be dismantled because of environmental concerns, so they just sit there...  like ghost ships.


The train was quiet, swaying gently, and a nap became an increasingly good possibility.  So, throughout the day, I read, napped, did some stitchery, and had a perfectly lovely and restful day, watching these scenes go by:










 
Then it was a climb into the Sierra Nevadas, past Donner Lake - where the famous Donner wagon party became stuck in the winter, and nearly all starved, finally resorting to cannibalism... it's a fabulously beautiful area, near Lake Tahoe and the fabulous ski areas...

time for DINNER - yummy...  one can go to the dining car, or have a meal brought to your sleeper car...  when you get a sleeper car, the meals are in your ticket, so heavens, let's not pick this day to diet !!!!

I must admit I was grateful to have dinner delivered - I don't know how the attendant managed - I found walking down the corridors very difficult as the train seemed perfectly stable while sitting, but lurched around when I was trying to walk !!

And then, soon enough, time for sleep - Courtney, our sleeping car attendance, came by and turned down the bed...  would I be able to sleep in this space?   Well, after a few minutes adjusting, I was out like a light until 7 the next morning!  This little bed was actually comfy... this photo is from the Amtrak site - my little compartment was not nearly this neat !!!!  And, yes, it has a door and a privacy curtain, not shown in this photo...I settled in, and after a little time relaxing, I was out like a light.  Amtrak practices a "quiet time" at ten o'clock - no talking on cell phones, no music, no announcements.  I didn't even wake up when we stopped in Salt Lake City in the middle of the night...




Day Two dawned in eastern Utah, soon crossing into Colorado, and wandering beside the Colorado river, in just gorgeous country:




We followed the Colorado River for miles and miles - gorgeous, gorgeous.



 
What gorgeous, gorgeous countryside !!!!  I was just so very, very relaxed...
 
 And while I relaxed, I stitched:  

 
 
and soon enough, Denver came into view, and in a flash, my little adventure was over...  But I had had a wonderful time, was rested and refreshed, and ready for my business meeting the next day... 
 
Yahoo for train travel !!!!
 
Kate
 
 
 
 
 
 

2 comments:

Elaine Adair said...

Sounds like fun to me - wish such an option was available around my neck of the woods. Thanks for the description and photos. 8-))

knitnkwilt said...

I enjoyed your photos. A train trip east is in my future--but I'll get different scenery starting in Portland.

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