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La Plata and the trip home Part 3

by Chris Guenzler

7/26/2013 I woke to a rainy morning so I slept in. I had breakfast then worked on this story before I packed up and moved to Room N for the rest of my stay in La Plata. I then drove out to the old bridge on Cranberry Lane and I had a train coming. The rain sure kept the dirt down on the dirt road today.

BNSF 7222 East with a stack train.

The clouds were interesting but at least it was dry.

The animals were interesting to.

BNSF 7368 West on an intermodal train.

BNSF 7032 East with a general manifest.

Interesting clouds this morning.

Double greens mean a freight train on the right track and the Southwest Chief on the left track.

BNSF 7211 East on a stack train.

Amtrak's Southwest Chief Train 4 heads for Chicago. From here I headed west to the old bridge on Titan Lane west of Gibbs.

I had to follow this Amish buggy and dog back to the paved road. At the Titan Lane old bridge I met a local family who drove up on a dune buggy to watch trains. We talked for a few minutes when I saw a westbound cresting the hill at Gibbs.

BNSF 7248 West with a general manifest.

BNSF 7814 East on an intermodal train. From here I headed to the Chris Guenzler Million Mile Lookout Point and with a signal internet connection I uploaded the Disc Writer which when it got done, I tested it and it worked.

BNSF 7248 West again as it was stopped out by Archer Road when I crossed over the BNSF mainline on the way here.

BNSF 7070 West with a stack train.

Someone posted this in the Lookout Point. Thank you! I went to leave and the Ford Focus key would not turn. I tried and tried but it would not work. I tried again but it did not turn. I called Enterprise and since there was not a car guide in the rental car she said she would send out a driver.

UP 5453 West on a stack train was my last train here. I went back to the car and tried and it worked. I called Megan to cancel the driver coming and she would call him. I went to Trainparty after gassing the car. I returned to the Depot Inn and Suites and worked on this story. I called Ray Burns now a residence of Macon and we had a great talk. I finished the story to this point. At 4:15 PM I drove north in the hotel's van to Colton Steakhouse and had my final Missouri meal of this trip. I then relaxed until it was time to be driven back down to the train. There were 23 Boy Scouts who were boarding the train tonight in La Plata. I waited at the station until my train came into sight for home at 7:42 PM.

Southwest Chief 3 7/26/2013

The Conductor was at the door of the 10 Car and called my name. I boarded and Paul my excellent Sleeping Car Attendant took me to Room 20. This train had Engines 14 and 137, Baggage 1855, Transition 39021, Sleepers 32068 and 32056, Diner 38061, Lounge 33020 and Coaches 34102, 34094 and 31032. I set up my room then pulled out the computer to catch up the story. My ticket was scanned and then I went to the Dining Car for a dessert. With that done, I then relaxed across Missouri before calling it a night.

7/27/2013 The next morning I got up and had to put my name on a waiting list for breakfast. I waited in the lounge watching Kansas pass by before I was called in. I was seated with a Boy Scout and his dad from Indianapolis going to Raton and then the Philmont Scout Ranch and Bob Johnson of Trains Magazine. I always have enjoyed his writing. Good conversations were had at the table and the French Toast and sausage tasted really good this morning. I worked on my Year of Trains in the Life of Chris Guenzler 2013 before putting on a DVD with the new DVD writer Peter Frampton Live in Brazil. A fresh air break at La Junta caused me to pause that DVD.

The crew change in La Junta which we left on time and headed the miles west to Trinidad. After that DVD I put on the on my Ringo Starr and the All Star Band DVD. I took a fresh air break then called Let's Talk Trains, the Internet Radio Show. Ringo finished and then it was time for lunch and I was seated with a couple from Pennsylvania and a gentleman Amish from Indiana. I had the Angus Beef Burger and the Chocolate Swirl for dessert. I listened to Yes "Fly from here" as I timed out the next Orange County Railroad Historical Program and finished that up at Glorieta. I then watched a live Queen DVD that took me through Apache Canyon, Lamy and beyond all the way to just short of Albuquerque. We arrived into ABQ at 4:19 PM. Randy Jackson came down to see me during the layover. Our conductor is wearing a Detroit Tigers Baseball Cap. The train left Albuquerque at 4:56 PM, 11 minutes late and we were off for Gallup. I had a 5:30 Dinner Reservation and I listened to music until. I was seated with the same people from lunch and learned a little bit more about the Indiana Amish. I had the steak and Orange Sorbet for dessert. I returned to my room for an evening of CDs and DVDs. I stayed up to Flagstaff to see Danny. After a visit with him, I reboarded and made up my room before calling it a night.

7/28/2013 I woke up just after Summit and after my room was made up I had a quiet trip down to Cajon Pass. I had my cinnamon roll and Chips Ahoy Cookies. The freight trains started below Devore. I took a fresh air break at San Bernardino. We left San Bernardino where I put on my DVD of Jethro Tull "Around the World Live". The train went under the new Union Pacific flyover at Colton before we ran to Riverside, after that we ran to Fullerton and then the final sprint to Los Angeles arriving there at 8:30 AM {8:45 AM}.

Pacific Surfliner 768 7/28/2013

I got a Metrolink Weekend Pass and just as I reached the train it left so I walked over to where the Pacific Business Class car would stop and at 9:00 AM the train came into LAUPT from Goleta. I stored my heavy luggage down stairs before I took a right side facing backwards seat sitting in those seats I cannot stand. I caught up on the story before going on-line. The train left on time for the quick trip to Fullerton, Anaheim and on to Santa Ana where I detrained. My mother picked me up and it was good to home. It had been a fantastic trip and thank you one more time to Dave Smetko for making it all happen.