University of Nevada, Reno




Our Great Train Adventure

By Jeanette


JeanetteWe were two cars from the dining car. Each table had a vase of carnations. The food was excellent, and we had a nice variety. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner and sat with different people at each meal—delightful people from all over. The most delicious dessert we had was an absolutely amazing tiramisu. We ate the most wonderful New York strip steak, beef ribs, salmon, apple-walnut salad and breakfasts. The coffee was the best ever. Water, coffee, juices were set up in all the cars and available to us whenever we wanted them. A newspaper was slipped under the door each morning. The person in charge of the dining car came by each room for our lunch and dinner reservation times.

We spent the night at the midtown motel—the only motel not on the main highway. We met Nick and John, who run the motel and are really gracious and very accommodating. The town has lovely old brick buildings from the 20s and 30s on tree-lined streets. About 7:15 a.m. the next morning, John drove us to the Amtrak terminal for our 8 a.m. train back home. It was running about three hours late. We went to a quaint, friendly local restaurant, the Kopper Kitchen, for breakfast. The police must have known Jeanette was in town, because they came in! Guns loaded!!

Jeanette had the best homemade blueberry pancakes she’s ever had. Conni had delicious huevos rancheros.

Eventually, we boarded Amtrak’s Southwest Chief for our trip home. It starts out in Chicago and goes to Los Angeles.

The train seems to ride in a smooth, straight line, but when you are on the train, you are bouncing from side to side. The upper berths have wide netting that hooks to the ceiling to make sure the passenger doesn’t fall out! Walking through the cars is also an experience. If someone has the door to their roomette open, you can bounce right in—uninvited!

There were times when the tracks curved around the hills and rock formations, letting us see the front and the back of the train at the same time.

Between Raton, N.M., and Trinidad, Colo., there is a tunnel under the mountains that is three-quarters of a mile long. You enter the tunnel in one state and emerge in the other state.

On the Colorado side is a marker of a dead train robber who was killed in 1908 while trying to rob a train. In that same area, black bear, coyotes, and other wild animals have been seen.

Along the way, we saw cows, horses, antelope, deer, coyote, longhorn steer, hawks, a variety of foliage and terrain and wonderful, amazing rock formations.

People who live in the areas we went through came out to wave at the train. ...

The trip was Jeanette’s and Conni’s Great Train Adventure, since neither one of us had ever slept or eaten on a train. Fun times!! Good memories!! (And a few bruises!)


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