The Great California Train Adventure (Part 3)

(7/7/10) - 11 days, over 5,000 traveled miles by high speed train, bus, cable car, airplane, steam engine and paddlewheel boat. This is the 3rd in a series of pictures from our fabulous journey as we "live" aboard Amtrak's "California Zephyr" for three days and two nights.

The Great California Train Adventure (Part 3)

We last left off in Denver for a pit-stop (Part 2), now it's time to pick up our journey for the most scenic part of our adventure.  We've been told we're going to have to make a detour thanks to a part of track washed out by floods in Colorado.  Unfortunately, the detour means we won't be travelling through the Rocky Mountains and the 29 tunnels.  However, as you will see from these pictures, our detour was just as beautiful as we travel through Wyoming.

As we leave Colorado and head into Wyoming, we begin to see landscape reminiscent of the Old West.

On our approach to Laramie, Wyoming, we begin to see lots of these "fences".  We question whether it's to keep animals from getting on the tracks but they're not connected.  We later find out they help keep snow drifts off the tracks.  Ahh, now that makes more sense!

How awesome is this landscape!

At times we felt as if we were in the middle of nowhere.  Then, we'd see I-80 as it would occasionally come close to and follow the tracks for a while.

We begin to see lots of water and flooded fields as this part of Wyoming had received heavy rains within the past few days.

And speaking of rain...I watched this distant thunderstorm develop from a small cumulus cloud into a decent cell.  Notice much of the rain isn't reaching the ground.  That's because near the surface, the humidity was around 20%.  The rain (along with some hail as noted with the white streaks to the left) was evaporating before reaching earth.

A few minutes later, the storm is collapsing but still showing white streaks of hail.

After about a half hour down the tracks, our storms are over and the sun returns along with more beautiful Wyoming landscape.

It seems as if you could see into forever.

Coming up, Part 4 of our adventure takes us deep into Wyoming as we approach the continental divide and the Rocky Mountains!

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