Through the Canyons of Colorado and Utah by train

The train crossed Nebraska overnight and when I wake up, the prairie of the Great Plains of Colorado is glowing in the sunrise. I'll start with the minimal morning routine, which requires nothing more than a toothbrush, toothpaste, a full and an empty water bottle.

When that's done, Denver comes into view. Nothing spectacular can be seen from the train, but many people get on and off here.

After Denver the train goes up into the Rocky Mountains. In the serpentines it is a first opportunity to see the whole train with the two locomotives. There is also a panoramic car, in which the seats are arranged transversely to the direction of travel and through large windows you also have an unobstructed view of the scenery that will pass us in the coming hours. The train will now travel up the mountain range to an altitude of over 3,000 meters. The mountain slopes are characterized by light coniferous forests and there is still snow on the peaks. Later, the track meets and meanders along the Eagle River. This is also where the first canyons of red, jagged rock begin. I didn't expect that at all, but when the Eagle River flows into the Colorado River there is an incredible canyon scenery to see and I can understand why the California Zephyr has a panoramic car attached. But I stay in my seat in the back of the last car because I have an excellent view from there too. In addition, I can also look out of the back of the train, take photos and film.

A friendly greeting from the rafters on the Colorado River

The Colorado River is a narrow but raging brown river, where the water mostly seethes in the rapids. A paradise for rafters. Along the Colorado River I have now seen several bare buttocks while rolling past. It's a tradition for rafters on the river to salute the passing California Zephyr train by showing their bare buttocks. Unfortunately, I wasn't fast enough to return their greeting.

I realize that until now I had no precise idea of the US geography. I would have expected those canyons down south, since on my imaginary map, I also had the entire state of Colorado located much further south. The mountains of the Rocky Mountains are a well-known ski area. This is also where Aspen is located.

I also had Utah wrongly arranged, which I also assumed to be much further south. I had no idea at all of the landscape of this state, which adjoins Colorado to the west. But here I see the table mountains that are flat on top and drop vertically. I located them in Arizona and didn't expect to see them on this trip. It's not just on or two, but the entire route we travel through northern Utah is shaped by them.

A fasting journey on the train

Today we had a coffee for breakfast ($2.75). For lunch I had a can of chicken jambalaya stew, which I enjoyed while slowly spooning it up with my spork (spoon on one end, fork on the other). At four o'clock I got myself a coffee and for dinner there was a can of Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup. Above all, it was spicy and had a lot of broth. Hardly any chicken and pasta, this portion had just 280 calories. Overall, I didn't eat 800 calories today. Of course, I could just buy something in the on-board restaurant or put a bag of sugar in my coffee. But that would be too easy. That's why I have a headache late in the evening and I don't feel like working on my laptop anymore. So I just look at the beautiful landscape and listen to music. I found out that the Rolling Stones suit this landscape best for me. Before I fall asleep, I set my watch an hour earlier because Colorado and Utah have Mountain Time. When I wake up tomorrow morning, I'll be in Nevada, where the Pacific Time zone begins.

Related Articles