Written by Steve4031 on 10 Jan, 2003
In mid-October, I was feeling the desire to go railroading. A quick look at Amtrak''s sale fares showed that I could take a weekend trip to Grand Junction, Colorado, during the three-day Veteran''s Day weekend in early November. I booked the Amtrak coach tickets on…Read More
In mid-October, I was feeling the desire to go railroading. A quick look at Amtrak''s sale fares showed that I could take a weekend trip to Grand Junction, Colorado, during the three-day Veteran''s Day weekend in early November. I booked the Amtrak coach tickets on its website, and then reserved Saturday night at the Adams Mark Hotel in Grand Junction. The game plan: depart Chicago at 2:15pm on Friday, arrive Grand Junction at 5:15pm on Saturday, and stay over Saturday night. On Sunday morning, I would leave Grand Junction at 10:30am, arriving in Chicago at 4pm on Monday.
On Friday, November 8, I left school at 12pm, and walked over to the El station with my roll-aboard luggage. By 1pm, I was in the waiting room of Chicago''s Union Station.
Amtrak''s California Zephyr departed on time at 2:15pm. After a lengthy process, I completed an on-board upgrade to a sleeping car. Upgrading on board saved me approximately $80. I had an economy bedroom which comfortably accomodated one, but is somewhat uncomfortable for two people unless they really like each other! Additional benefits to traveling in the sleeper: meals are included, and it is possible to use an on-board shower, which is located on the lower level of the car.
After dinner, I returned to my room just as the Zephyr eased across the Mississippi River into Iowa. An hour later,
I had the bed down, and was fast asleep.
After breakfast, the train arrived ontime into Denver, Colorado. The sunny, 60 degree day made a trainside walk down the platform very enjoyable. 30 minutes later, we departed Denver for the trip over the Rockies.
30 minutes later, the Zephyr rounded a double horseshoe curve. Minutes later, passengers were treated to panoramas of the great plains. The skyscrapers of Denver glimmered in the sunlight.
The Zephyr continues its assault on the Rockies, rounding curves, plunging through tunnels, and exposing its passengers to a variety of views of cliffs, mountains, and panoramic vistas of plains or lakes. Suddenly, the skies darkened, and snow begin to fall. At Winter Park, the first stop from Denver, passengers joined in a spontaneous snowball fight.