I’m not stopping anywhere in CO during this trip because I’ll be back in February for a conference and get to spend a weekend or two in Denver and/or Breckenridge then, in addition to the conference in Keystone. I can’t wait to come back! But man, this state is beautiful. After leaving Omaha late last night, I woke up to a sunrise in eastern Colorado this morning and soon after, we pulled into Denver for a “fresh air stop”. It was a long enough stop (~20 minutes) that I got to go into Denver Union Station (every major station is Union Station, it seems!) for breakfast. So I officially officially have been in Colorado, since I bought coffee and yogurt there 😉
That station, also, is gorgeous. Inside are restaurants, bookstores, a bar, and a hotel. I popped into the coffee shop and grabbed an eggnog latte (my not-so-secret-anymore favorite holiday drink) and raspberry yogurt. Sure, I could have gotten something similar from the café car on the train, but I enjoyed the fresh air, snow (first time this season! It hasn’t snowed yet in Pittsburgh..), and getting an albeit small glimpse of Denver.
And now we’re winding through the Rockies. None of my photos will do it justice- it’s a magnificent landscape and it doesn’t compare to anything I’ve ever seen. From far away, the bluish-white peaks blend into the early morning snowy sky. But as the train gets into the mountains, up close, each individual peak has character. The evergreen trees comprise the majority of the landscape, like the perfect Christmas scene minus the flashy lights. Interspersed are giant boulders with just a cap of snow…and up and up and up we go. Some of the curves are tight enough that I can see the front of the train from my window in the back. The current passage we are in is mostly tunnels- 31 of them, we’re told- so we get glimpses of the landscape and equal periods of complete pitch blackness. And the altitude change is noticeable- my contact solution has started to leak!
We’ll be going through the mountains for most of the day today- I’m happy that this is the view I get during daylight hours. So different from my last daylight train ride through Iowa! The differences from state to state is one of the reasons I was so excited to go on this trip; I’ll have to put together a photo montage at the very end to compare everywhere I’ve seen.
My next stop is Salt Lake City, UT; I’ll get in at 11:30 MST tonight and I have 48 hours there. The time zone differences are actually my biggest problem with this trip: so far, I haven’t had a single day of travel where I have been in only one time zone! Yesterday in Omaha, of course, but every train ride has taken me through two time zones and this one is no different. I think the only train ride that I have within one time zone is the north-south trip between Sacramento and Portland! I’m getting better at the wonky math that’s required for me to make sure I have the correct time compared to home…right now I’m two hours earlier.