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Day 2 - Crossing the Rockies

I woke up to more beautiful scenery and even though still tired I had to take some pictures. After enjoying a hot chocolate in the launch car while passing the sleepy town of Helper, Utah and riding through the beautiful Ruby Canyon we had a longer stop in Green River, UT due to crossing traffic. Spending a couple of minutes at the fresh air did really well. The next stop took place at Grand Junction, Colorado and I had a look at the old station building that is currently under renovation. On the launch car I met two nice older ladies who told me a bit more about former experience of traveling by train, interesting stories. Then it was again time for lunch and I was lucky as I made it to the first seating. I was seated with a very nice couple from Upper State New York and a gentlemen who was call Amtrak almost his second home, he had an impressing number of Amtrak bonus miles accumulated and was on one of his bonus trips. A lot of interesting stories were shared over lunch while the train had a longer stop in Glenwood Springs, CO. The reason for the longer stop were construction works and rail replacements. I got a third chance that day to spend some time at the fresh air. The train left Glenwood Springs with 90 minutes delay. Until then the train had been pretty much on time which was according to seasoned travelers almost a wonder. The scenery after Glenwood Springs was once again breathtaking with the train going through the beautiful Glenwood Canyon climbing up towards the Rocky Mountains. Station stops in Granby, CO and Fraser-Winter Park, CO were rather short in order to make up some of the delay which could be reduced down to about 60 minutes. At Granby we finally left the Colorado River behind us which had accompanied our rain journey for about 235 miles. Leaving Fraser-Winter Park we soon reached the 6.2 mile long Moffat tunnel that was opened in 1928. Unfortunately on the other side the weather wasn’t very pleasant and there was not much to see of Denver like usually. It was rainy and cloudy. Being on the final approach to Denver with only 60 minutes delay the train got hold up once again just miles from the Union Station due to a broken freight train traveling in front of our train. Our train needed to be rerouted traveling on very low speed through a rail yard. Finally Denver Union Station was reached at about 8.20 pm instead of 6.38 pm. I was impressed by the beautiful station hall and the freshly renovated Union Station. I was lucky as I could check-in my baggage for the next day right after I had reclaimed it. I only needed a few things from the bag for my one night stay in Denver. Leaving the bag at the station was very convenient and made my life so much easier. After I had left Union Station I made my way to 16th Street where I caught the free Mall Shuttle bus. I took one stop underway in order to buy something little to eat as I still felt hungry before hopping again on the Shuttle bus until its final stop at the Civic Center. From there it was only a short 6 blocks walk to my hostel. After check-in I went sleeping pretty soon. It felt good to finally be again able to sleep in a proper bed after four nights sleeping in a seat, first two nights on the airplane, then one night on the Greyhound bus and finally another night on the California Zephyr.  

California Zephyr stopping in the middle of nowhere
California Zephyr after arrival in Denver

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