The Great California Train Adventure (Part 2)

(7/2/10) - 11 days, over 5,000 traveled miles by high speed train, bus, cable car, airplane, steam engine and paddlewheel boat. This is the 2nd in a series of pictures from our fabulous journey as we board our Amtrak train in Chicago and trek across the Great Plains.

The Great California Train Adventure (Part 2)

Our adventure continues as we finally board the Amtrak "California Zephyr" for three days and two nights across the Great Plains and into the Rockies.  This was my first experience aboard a train and it proved to be a real adventure!

Not too far after boarding the train and leaving Chicago, dark clouds move in and the rain begins to fall.  I had told the rest of our group that I'd love to see a tornado while we cross the Plains - at a distance, of course.  Well, it didn't happen but it sure looked like it was going to get rough for a while.

Even on the train, I stayed well long as there was a good cell signal.  This is the little foldout table in our sleeper where I could tweet pictures along the way (for those who follow me on twitter).  I also had a digital camera, mp3 player with my favorite tunes, a portable weather radio (just in case), a flip camera to capture video, a netbook computer and snacks, of course.

The food on the California Zephyr was incredible!  Here we are in the diner car with Linda and Gary Taylor of Glasgow.

Check it out!  New York Strip Steak with baked potato and wax beans.  I suppose those are wax beans...they squeaked when I ate them!

From our sleeper we look out the window and see the Mississippi River as we cross from Illinois into Iowa near Davenport.

This is the observation car aboard the California Zephyr.  The big windows and swivel seasts allowed us to visit with the rest of the tour group, take pictures and take in the sights along the way.

It's the end of day 1 aboard the California Zephyr.  After a day of occasional showers and storms, we see a beautiful sunset as we're leaving Iowa and entering Nebraska.

The first night on the train (remember it was my first time to ever ride a train) I was up just about every hour.  Just as I'd drift off to sleep, the train would switch tracks at 80 mph and I thought I was going to fall out of my bed!  Since I was up, I decided to snap some shots of the sunrise over Nebraska.

The morning sun just gets more beautiful as we continue across Nebraska.

I truly enjoy taking sunrise and sunset pictures.  They are my favorite.  And from a moving train, they didn't turn out too bad.

This is our sleeping car attendant Isaac Heath.  He would get on the train intercom and say "this is the guy on The Love Boat..." (made us laugh every time!).  He took real good care of us while we were on the California Zephyr.

We make a stop in Denver but we only had time to get off the train for a few minutes and stretch our legs.  Here Shelia gets out and checks out the expansion of sleeper cars hooked up to Amtrak's California Zephyr.

Okay...that's Part 2 of our journey.  I will try to be a little faster about posting pictures for Part 3 (and 4, and 5, etc.).  We've only just begun to have fun on this adventure as our train takes us through the Rockies and into the Sierra Mountains.  Check back with the blog in a few days to see what's new!


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