The Mexican Golden Girls

Travel to see country & people: In my row on the Amtrak train to Sacramento sit three lovely Mexican Golden Girls who knit by day, share brought-in nachos, cheese cubes and white wine in the evening, and then at night tuck under a mountain of blankets under the seats on the floor for sleeping.

Old Sacramento still has a taste of the days of the Wild West
Old Sacramento still has a taste of the days of the Wild West

Freezing in the Sierra Nevada - Reggae in Sacramento

The night on the train was freezing again. I'm already wearing a jacket and a sweater over it, but that's not enough for the temperatures generated by the air conditioning in the train cars. As an additional layer of warmth, I have already put the neoprene sleeve of my laptop over my legs and a beach cloth serves as a would-be blanket. But it only warms psychologically, because it is so thin that you can see through it. However, I survived this night as well and I am surprised at how long you can sleep in this forced position. The backrests of the seats recline far back and an additional leg rest expands the sleeping area - but none of this replaces a real bed. Still, I can sleep until half past seven. As expected, we left Colorado overnight and as I pull back the curtain I see the rolling hills of Nevada.

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.

Transfer day from the Texas Eagle to the California Zephyr

When I wake up this morning, our Texas Eagle train has already left Texas and we are about to leave Missouri as well. We are just arriving in St. Louis and crossing the Mississippi to Illinois. I've ridden this route before on the way out to Fort Worth. There was nothing to be done but backtrack a bit along the same route to get to the Pacific. At least I don't have to go all the way back to Chicago, just as far as Springfield in Illinois. My train left Fort Worth two hours late. I would have missed my connection in Springfield. But overnight the Texas Eagle made up so much time that I still have time at Springfield if it goes on from there. The nice thing about traveling with Amtrak is that you are never left to your own devices, but there are always staff there who round up all travelers and guide them to the right departure platform. You have to be very stupid here to get lost. There are also not many connections, so everything is clearer than in German rail traffic.