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Onward to Denver

by Chris Guenzler

9/29/2020 Elizabeth and I woke up at the Hilton Garden Inn in Emeryville and after packing up we walked to Denny's for a good French Toast breakfast under the tent behind the building. After that we walked back over to the Emeryville Amtrak station to wait for our next train trip of this journey.

California Zephhyr 6 9/29/2020

The train pulled into Emeryville at 8:54 AM and we walked down to board the 632 sleeping car. We did that and were told to stay in our room under the conductor came by to scan our tickets. This train had P42DC 40 and 4, Viewliner Baggage 61010, Transition 39011, Sleepers 32021 and 32052, Diner 38007, Lounge 32023, with Coaches 34128 and 35009 Snack Coach not in use or the Amtrak term "Panic Box." Tony was our sleeping car attendant. Tony went to see Kelsey, the dining car attendant, and set it up with the LSA of the lounge car, Cecil Boyd, so I could eat my meals there due to the high content of salt in the Dining Car meals. Cecil also will not eat them.

Elizabeth, my loving and most beautiful wife, making her first trip ever on the California Zephyr to Denver on this train. The train left on time and returned us along San Pablo Bay after a brief stop at Richmond. We went to the lounge car.

San Pablo Bay on a partially cloudy morning. After we kissed in Crockett Tunnel, we went under Interstate 80 bridge.

The Southern Pacific Crockett station.

Right before Ozol the drawbridge was up on the Martinez Bridge ahead on our route this morning. The train stopped in Martinez and then came to the red signal for that open bridge.

The boat that stopped our California Zephyr this morning. Remember river traffic always has the right of way over train traffic. The bridge lowered and we finally got a green signal to proceed.

Two views looking down the Carquinez Straits.

A view looking up the river.

Two views of the US Navy Mothball Fleet way down from Conductor Larry's Loose Caboose boat trip a few years ago. The train then sprinted along the flat lands to our next stop at Davis, where my late brother Bruce was once the Amtrak agent there. From here we ran along Interstate 80 to West Sacramento after crossing the Yolo Bypass. From here we arrived in Sacramento and picked up a few more passengers. The train ran east out of Sacramento and I sat with Elizabeth pointing things out to her. We made our way east to Elvas then crossed the American River. I showed her the Sacramento Light Rail Shops before the train ran by McClellan Air Base. I showed her everything about Roseville Yard and the rotary snow plows and flangers for Union Pacific snow fighting battles on Donner Pass. I showed her the Southern Pacific steam engine and rotary snowplow on display there in Roseville. We left there then at Rocklin on this trip we went under the mainline and later through the Bloomer Cut. We kissed at the double track tunnel and then I went to the lounge car to get a hot dog and chunky chocolate chip cookie for lunch while Elizabeth went to the Dining Car and had Chicken Fettucine which she really liked. It was too bad she never had been in the old dining car days to have something to compare this to like I have. The train stopped in Colfax with some interesting things to photograph.

The Colfax Southern Pacific station built in 1905.

North Western Pacific 28 observation car in Colfax.

Southern Pacific caboose 1857 in Colfax.

Southern Pacific freight house in Colfax built 1880 by the Central Pacific. The train made its way across Interstate 80 and rounded through the Cape Horn tunnel with no view of the American River there. The train climbed higher into the Sierra Nevadas. The train continued to climb the grades and later I showed Elizabeth the turning loop for snow fighting equipment below Emigrant Gap. We went through there and we switched sides of the ridge.

South Yuba River as we climbed higher towards Soda Springs.

Above Shed 10 a picture of the front of the train. I returned to the lounge car. The train went through Soda Springs and then Norden then through the Big Hole Tunnel and we kissed all the way through it. I had told Elizabeth about Cold Stream Canyon and she got to experience it before we reached Truckee, our next double stop. We went throgh Boca then Floriston and into Nevada. We both got on-line and I cleaned out my e mail. The train arrived into Reno and we had ten minutes so we walked the train to get the consist. We left Reno and for the first time we did not stop at Sparks. We rode the Lounge car and after Hazen I went to the room and watched the Wedding pictures and my NRHS and 2010 pre Winterail programs. Elizabeth returned and I finished cleaning out my E mail and checked Trainorders.

The romantic moon for Elizabeth and I. We will take a fresh air break at Winnemucca. After that, we watched ABBA the movie before we called it a night.

9/30/2020 I woke up in Helper, Utah while Elizabeth slept in as she did not sleep well last night. I enjoyed a cinnamon roll and later an orange juice as we crossed the Utah desert then started our descent to our lowest point our route at Green River.

The Utah Desert.

The Book Cliffs of Utah.

The Green River, the lowest point on our route today.

The La Salle Mountains in Colorado.

Where the Colorado River goes south.

The Colorado River as we entered my favorite canyon on the entire Amtrak system, Ruby Canyon.

Ruby Canyon. We exited the tunnel and entered the Grand Valley.

The mesa where Dinosaur National Monument is located.

Union Pacific GP-15-1 Y694.

Union Pacific C44-9W 9771 ex Chicago and North Western. There were all kinds of stored Union Pacific motive power in Grand Junction. The train arrived in Grand Junction very early this morning.

The former Rio Grande Station in Grand Junction.

The California Zephyr 6 at rest at Grand Junction.

DRG&W box car 3001.

Street scene of the former Rio Grande Station in Grand Junction.

What the city wants to do with this unique building. The train left Grand Junction on time and headed across the rest of the Grand Valley then into DeBeque Canyon.

DeBeque Canyon.

East of Debeque Canyon.

Trees in fall colors as we neared Silt.

Getting near Glenwood Springs and we decided to stay on the train. Next a trip through Glenwood Canyon.

The trip through Glenwood Canyon and by the remains of the Grizzly Fire.

A Union Pacific local surprised me at Dotsero.

Fall colors along the Colorado River.

The train getting ready to enter Red Rock Canyon.

Fall colors along our route.

Getting ready to enter Gore Canyon.

Gore Canyon where at this point, Elizabeth returned from the lounge car. These are all the pictures I will be taking on the way to Denver. If you want to see more pictures, go to my Million Mile stories on my home page.

Several fires in the southern sky looking south.

Byers Canyon. The train stopped at Granby and we took a fresh air break at Winter Park. From this point when we entered the Moffat Tunnel we kissed and did that all the way to Tunnel 1 then rounded the Coal Creek Canyon before descending the Big Ten Curve before we went all the way into Denver. We were wyed and then backed into Denver Union Station. Special thank yous to Tony, Kelsey and Cecil, plus the operating crews aboard the California Zephyr. I went to the Crawford Hotel lobby to try to check us in while Elizabeth was waiting to get her checked bag. They needed her ID so we switched after I stored my bags behind the counter. Elizabeth got the room then we loaded our stuff on a luggage cart and took the elevator up to the second floor east side to Room 240 for this night.

The view from our room with the Zephyr down below. I went outside for one last picture.

Denver Union Station lit up at night. I returned and we relaxed the rest of the evening.