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The Trip Home from La Plata 2/23-2/25/2008

by Chris Guenzler

After the Grand Opening of the Silver Rails Event Center in Downtown La Plata I started walking back to the Depot Inn & Suites. I got about three blocks away when A couple pulled up and offered me a ride back to the Depot Inn. I worked on the first part of the story and finished it when the Vista would not let my FTP Explorer upload my story. I called Steve for help and he got me Ron who uploaded me a new FTP Explorer which then worked. I uploaded Part 1 before going to the Red Rooster for a Filet Mignon for Dinner. Back at the Depot Inn I checked the Internet when Dutch from Pennsylvania came in and we got caught up on things. At 7:30 PM I said goodbye to Dutch before Jonathan Ortiz and I were driven to the Amtrak Station.

There I met Nathan of and a caller to Lets Talk Trains, the Internet Radio Show. We talked until the Southwest Chief pulled into La Plata way to fast.

Southwest Chief 3 2/23/2008

I had to walk four car lengths across the ballast to board the 330 Car and was greeted at the door by Mike Duran, my Sleeping Car Attendant. I went to my room 3 and set up the computer first to work on this story before I watched the Rolling Stones DVD I had. This train had Engines 94 and 189, Baggage 1203, Transition 39005, Sleepers 32014 and 32099 New Mexico, Diner 38055, Lounge 33002 and Coaches 34038 and 31029. I made up my room and called it a night after the first seven songs.

2/24/2008 I was not feeling too well when I awoke and laid in bed almost to La Junta where I put the Rolling Stones DVD back on. At La Junta I went to Safeway for some snacks and visited the station. The Southwest Chief left La Junta on time and I read the Pueblo Chieftain as the Rolling Stones continued to play taking halfway up Raton Pass. I took some fresh air at Raton before I took a nap. I awoke as the train was climbing Glorieta Pass in a light rain storm and started work on yesterday's stories. At Canyoncito we went into the siding for the eastbound Southwest Chief then pulled into Lamy for an extended stop due to a red signal at the west end.

Two views at Lamy right before I finished Part 2 of this story. We sat in Lamy for over 45 minutes before we started rolling once more. I got the third part of the story finished before we arrived in Albuquerque and we arrived there on time to a cold and cloudy afternoon. The train left Albuquerque twenty three minutes late and headed out of town. I started watching Emerson, Lake & Palmer "Beyond the Beginning" starting with Disc 2 that took me to 5:45 PM and dinner time in the Dining Car. I was seated with Dennis going to Las Vegas, Nevada along with Skip and Anna who both happen to be going to Flagstaff. I had the Flat Iron Steak and chocolate Ice Cream. After dinner it was a refreshing shower before I returned to the ELP Discs. After Disc 2 was finished I put on Disc 1 which took me to Winslow. I watched part of Purple Rain and finished that right as we pulled into Flagstaff. I visited with Danny, Proamtrak on during our station stop there. Once we left town, I made up my room and called it a night.

2/25/2008 I was up right before Summit and made my way to the Dining Car for French Toast and Pork Sausage Links. I took fresh air at San Bernardino and relaxed the rest of the way to Fullerton.

The green Chino Hills before we arrived in Fullerton 52 minutes late. I went up the stairs to the bridge for some pictures.

The Southwest Chief was doing its station work at Fullerton.

Southwest Chief leaving Fullerton. I went to Track 3 to wait for my southbound train to Santa Ana.

Surfliner 564 2/25/2008

The train took me to Anaheim and on to Santa Ana on time ending my quickest trip ever to La Plata, Missouri. Now it was off to work at McFadden Intermediate.