Vacation 2014 – Part 4 (California Zephyr)

I am going to start off this post by saying this is mostly going to be pictures but there is no way close that I am putting all of the 450 pictures that we took on this part of the trip in this post.

After spending a couple of days eating and drinking our way through Napa, it was time to take on the fourth and final part of this trip. We headed  back to Sacramento early in the morning to first not get stuck in rush hour traffic and secondly to get the rental car back.

Getting on the train in Sacramento was just the beginning of our almost 3 day adventure.

We used our California Zephyr Route Guide that Amtrak provides in your sleeping car for you to know where you are going throughout the trip faithfully throughout this trip because it is really hard to tell where you are when you are not familiar with the route. It was incredibly helpful and provided some good info for us throughout the trip.

Upon getting on the train we realized that we were at the very back of the train, which is pretty cool because you not only have your window to look out but you also have the back to see a different view. (Little did we know that we would have a fellow passenger that would spend hours standing back there taking pictures. So this is one of the only pictures I have out the back.)
Well here we go on our cross country trip, starting with Colfax, California.

We spent quite a bit of time after lunch that day and after we went through Colfax in the observation car. The statue is of President Ulysses S. Grant.

Along the way, we saw a lot of little places before getting to Donner Pass. One of the things that I missed along the way was some of the log flumes. Getting the logs up and down the mountain the old fashion way.

Check out the glass pieces on these electric lines. You don’t see those on many modern lines. DSC_2691
We finally arrived about mid afternoon at Donner Pass. It was absolutely breath taking as it was a lot larger than expected and you sit way up on the Mountain looking down upon the whole area.

Truckee, California was the next town to pass through on the trip. It was a very cute little town.
This is also where we started to see part of the Truckee River. This was the first time that we started seeing rivers along the way and this one was absolutely beautiful and probably what kept me in the Observation car for a lot longer than what I thought I would be in there.
We had a little more time before we got to Reno, Nevada.
We saw Reno but it was night time and really hard to take pictures. Over night we missed a lot of Nevada but we did get to seeing everything after Helper, NV. We were a little off schedule to say the least. We went to breakfast and then came back and I did start taking some more pictures probably around Green River, NV. Everything was very different from the day before.
This was right before we got to Ruby Canyon, where it felt like I couldn’t take enough pictures. It was absolutely gorgeous and the only way to get down there was by boat or train. DSC_2830DSC_2831DSC_2832DSC_2833DSC_2835DSC_2837DSC_2839DSC_2841DSC_2844DSC_2845DSC_2848DSC_2849DSC_2850DSC_2852DSC_2854DSC_2855DSC_2860DSC_2862
This place is the permanent home to the Country Music Jam Festival that draws thousands of country music fans each year.
Field of sheep. Lots of them. Everywhere!
Grand Junction, Colorado station was next. We were able to get out and walk around at this stop, which was much needed.
From here it was following along the Colorado River. There were tons of fisherman, rafters, and campers along the way.
This was all that was left of a post office .
This was the hermits house in the wall of the mountain.
And this was the amusement park right over from this on the same mountain.
This was No Name, CO.
DSC_2901DSC_2904DSC_2906DSC_2907DSC_2928DSC_2929DSC_3011DSC_3012This was Frasier Winter Park. It is a ski resort for the Winter Park area.
This was right before we went through Moffat Tunnel.

We hit Denver about 8:45 – 9:00 p.m. that night. We were supposed to be there about 7 so we had gone to dinner early so we could go out and walk around but it was super late getting in and it wasn’t really a big deal.

The next morning we woke up in Omaha, I think. I was pretty groggy and confused on where we were stopping because I knew how far behind we were but I had no clue. This was all I saw.

Throughout the day I didn’t really take many pictures. It was very much a boring ride compared to what we had been through previously.

 This would be us crossing the Mississippi River. It was a lot bigger than I had imagined.
 DSC_3053This picture was for my mom. This is the home of Radar O’Reilly.DSC_3058 DSC_3060 This was Sean very ready to get into Chicago.

And of course some pictures of Union Station.

We then went to hang out with one of Sean’s very good friends and his girlfriend. We went to a great restaurant in Chicago and then it was off to the hotel. We slept for a little while and then it was up and off to the airport to fly home.

Awesome vacation but we were both ready to head home after all of the traveling. So many new experiences and new places to see. Sean says we are now done with the train for a little while.

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