Monday, June 28, 2010

Across the Sierras!!

As we crossed from Colorado into Utah, there was a lot of Indian Paintbrush.  It seemed to be the only thing growing in places. By the time we had entered into Utah very far, it became dark.  Daylight  was at Winnemucca, Nevada so we had slept through the night from Provo, Utah to Nevada.

There is a dressing room on the lower floor of each coach car, and I used it to brush my teeth, comb my hair, make-up, etc. etc.  It also had a toilet room attached and I found out that it was not used as much as the other two (also on that level).

My friend and I had a wonderful breakfast.  I had the omelet and coffee and I think it was about $8.00.  I found the meals in the dining car to be very nice and while expensive, they were not unreasonably overpriced.  I really enjoyed the fact that as only two people, the Amtrak Dining car waiters would seat us with other passengers.  We met some very interesting people.

Near Reno, Nevada
We finished breakfast about the time we hit Reno so we went to observation car so we could see the views we knew were coming up!  Unfortunately, it was foggy the day we crossed so it limited our views somewhat and interfered with great picture taking.
Truckee, California on the Eastern Slope of the Sierra Nevadas
Vintage Gas Station in Truckee that they are making into a Museum.
Donner Lake (yes named after THAT Donner Party)  Interesting note from the Trails to Rails narrative; the men of the Donner party died while the women and children lived.  Why? Because women and children have an extra layer of fat.
Another view of  Donner Lake

Meeting the Eastbound California Zephyr in the Sierras - reflection of passengers in the Observation car.

We saw a lot of snow still in the Sierras in early June.   One of the places we passed was a former town that had snow sheds over all the streets as they NORMALLY got 30 FEET of snow every year.  I believe that Union Pacific had employees at that town up to the 1970's when they abandoned it.  There were quite a few tunnels and snow sheds we passed through going over the Sierras.
Looking down on the American River as we come down the Sierras.  The track had been cut out of the hillside by Chinese coolies who had been lowered down the side of the hill on 'chairs' to place blasting caps.

And all too soon, we began to pull into our destination Colfax, California where our friend was meeting us.
The conductors waiting to signal the engineer to stop the train so we can get off.

Adios to the California Zephyr!

Merideth, dang girl, PACK lighter!!!  Look at all the stuff you took!
As we drove away, we could see the tracks above the American River where we had just been!

Next blog -- what I saw in Calfornia, the Redwoods, the Beach, Morgan Horses and my friends!


  1. I am enjoying your trip..Pack lighter!! Did you use all that "stuff"? :)

  2. Oh of course NOT, a lot I never used. Yes, pack lighter is to become the mantra.