It was an early travel day to get on the train in Denver, I’m happy on the inside. It is actually a relaxing travel day where I can catch up on my journal, continuing to memorize my show for September.
Once on the train, I headed to the observation car, thanks for the advice from my train buddy Ingrid. It doesn’t matter what side you sit on, most of the seats rotate in the car and the views happen on both sides of the train. I found my spot to calm my saddle sores and ease the tight back muscles.
The soothing roll of the train and the views are amazing.
A few fun little tidbits I learned on this ride.
Amtrak claims this stretch is the most scenic train ride in the world. We went through Moffat tunnel which is 9374 feet above sea level. The tunnel allows the train to go under the continental divide. It is 6.2 miles long and nine and a half minutes for the train to get through. The granite is so tough in spots they would only get through 7” of tunnel in a day. Grant it (see what I did there), this was back when they used manual drills. That’s right, a chisel and hammer.
In 1983, two people were killed after rock slide on the tracks. Amtrak installed an electronic wire monitoring system which warns workers and trains if any rocks have fallen on the track. There has not been a fatality since.
We pass through one of the most rugged areas the train goes called Boar’s canyon. Some of the roughest waters on the Colorado river that follow the train down the tracks.
The views were wonderful and I met a few new people and fellow teachers a long the way. I had a nice conversation with an elderly gentleman in the observation car. If you closed your eyes and just listened, you would swear you were talking to Leslie Jordan. A retired guidance counselor from Ft. Lauderdale on his way to San Fransisco.
I must say, this is a fantastic way to travel, pictures do not do it justice.