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24
Aug '14

Trip Report: Amtraking From Seattle To Denver Via Sacramento (Part Two)

Even with the delays we got into town a few minutes early – I would have preferred several hours late so I could have had the free breakfast on the train. Basically I have a 5 hour layover in Sacramento.

Not terribly impressed with the station – which is under serious renovation:

It took a 12-block walk to find breakfast – some of it pretty:

Some not – lots of vacant storefronts. Nothing to eat in the station, though there was a Starbucks at the end of the block (like everywhere). I ended up at Cafe Bernardo at 15th and R. The train station is at 4th and I. That sounds like more than 12 blocks. I had their version of the eggs benedict – sourdough toast, sliced ham, poached egg, hollandaise. Odd but OK.

The train, she is a comin’

And yet another train without ice – but my car attendant got be a bucket from the dining car. Nice man:

Off to The Mile City we go, with stops in Truckee:

And then on to this countries ugliest Amtrak station, Reno, Nevada. This is trackside where they just buried the platform two stories down in a pit:

Which is sad since the front of the station is nice (and there is even a “gentleman’s club” across the street):

Heading further east we got to see some “wild mustangs” grazing, and even a couple of Union Pacific’s Company Cars – the railcars that executives use for travel on their network:

I’ve travelled in private rail cars from San Diego to Los Angeles with LARail.com – seriously a fun way to travel. Must be time to party!

Creative uses for an empty ice bucket…and onto Winnemucca, Lossamucca, Drawamucca.

Then Elko, Nevada…

Train station or bus stop – you figure it out. Soon it was time for bed…

Up at 7AM for breakfast – handy to be 3 doors down from the dining car as I was back in bed by 8AM to sleep until 10:30 or so. Before I knew it I was in Grand Junction, Colorado where Dan’s mother lives:

Their station is under renovation as well. Generally Amtrak doesn’t cover any of the costs of station renovation. The railroads generally sell the stations to the city for $1 as they did with King Street Station in Seattle, and then the city picks up the bill for renovation and modernization with tourist dollars.

Then it was onto Glenwood Springs where we had a little time to get out and wander:

And then the train came to a stop, a long stop, for track repair work – upwards of two hours – at least the view was pretty:

Frasier, Winter Park…headed to the Moffat Tunnel:

And on the other side of the mountains we are greeted with this lovely rainbow – which even made me move from the comfort of my roomette to the lounge:

Or maybe it was the allure of a Colorado University (Boulder) student named Edmund (who was also back in the sleepers, though unfortunately not mine):

Time to pack up the circus since the next stop is Denver:

Out of whiskey I had to hit the lounge car – who were out of everything other than two Rums and a handful of Gin and Vodka – good thing Denver is a provisioning stop! I took the last two rums – not what I wanted, but with the train running behind I’d settle.

At this point we were running two and a half hours behind – threatening my 8:30PM reservation at Stoic & Genuine, a new fancy restaurant in Denver’s recently renovated Union Station. Because of the delay I snagged a 5PM reservation for dinner and had the Flat Iron Steak (again).

And finally we arrive into Denver, backing the train in:

They did a stunning job on the renovation of this train station. Dan was waiting for me on the platform with Lisa holding our table at the restaurant – only a little past our 8:30 reservation.

Stayed tuned for Part Three – Time With Friends

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