REMEMBER THE GUY WHO RODE ACROSS THE USA BY TRAIN FOR JUST $213? I SPENT 54 HOURS ON THE SAME TRAIN FROM SAN FRANCISCO TO CHICAGO [PART 2]
[You’re reading Part 2 of my train adventure. Read Part 1 here.]
Early dawn over Utah.
Sunrise over the Wild West.
The colors were intoxicating.
The only issue I had with this 54-hour train ride was it shows you the West but it doesn’t let you feel the West. If you do this journey, I recommend taking your time and booking several days in various cities along the route.
This was a cool, old-school coat hook in one of the larger bathrooms. Bathroom sizes ranged from super tiny to wheelchair-accommodating spacious.
Desolate but not desperate. I think I saw a brewery here.
Eons of shifting earth.
You are here.
This was near the Colorado border.
We stopped for 20 minutes at Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
It was in the heart of the Rockies.
I mulled over the idea of running into town to find a cup of coffee but was pulled back by the fear of missing the train.
During this ride I went to the cafe several times just to stare at bags of Doritos. At this point my fast was inducing pain.
We climbed into the Rocky Mountain National Park.
And found this. #nofilter
The clouds broke just long enough to saturate us with supreme color. #nofilter
Train track curves are as seductive as Sofia Loren and beef brisket.
More magnificent curves. I believe this is the Colorado River.
Skies are big out here.
I daydreamed of robbing trains from these cliffs.
Side story: this guy sat directly in front of me and probably hadn’t showered in a week. He had started the trip in San Francisco. I wasn’t able to change my seat and had to endure about 30 hours of pungent wafts of odor all the way to Denver where he thankfully disembarked. Travel tip: don’t sit behind some dude who hasn’t bathed in a while.
Granby, CO, is a tiny, ski town near Vail. The route from Granby to Denver is considered to be the most scenic rail section in the United States.
That Coors Light train goes through here, too.
Afternoon tea. I’d befriended the cafe attendant and she gave me free tea and coffee.
This may have been the single most incredible view of the journey. As you descend from the Rockies the land opens outward over the Great Plains. I was in the lounge car when I took this photo. Everyone reacted with hushed exclamations. Interestingly there were several giant wind turbines operating in the distance.
The sightseer lounge car was the place to be.
Union Station, Denver, CO.
A kinetic sculpture at Union Station.
This was the line to get on the train at Denver. It was pretty cold here. I ran up a long flight of stairs several times to exercise and stay warm.
As we left Denver most passengers fell asleep quickly. I went to the lounge car and eventually fell asleep on this much more comfortable bench.
Continue to Part 3 of my train adventure.