Friday, January 9, 2015

Alex's Snow Train Trip II (Amtrak California Zephyr) - Sacramento To Reno



Song:  Journey To The Magical Kingdom

Group:  Future World Music




These were our seats for about 15 minutes.

We then went to the dining car for 1 hour...
and then spent the rest of the trip in the skyview car.


There is a funny story behind this man...
who I believe was from Japan 
(He hadn't spoken, but just from his mannerisms...
he seemed to be Japanese).

In the dining car...
I had seen his camera on the table.

It was a great set up...
and I had wanted to take a picture of it as it sat on the table.

Every time I raised my camera...
he noticed me doing so...
and he thought I had seen a great photo opportunity out of his window...



and so...
he started taking photos...at least 4 or 5 at a time...
thinking there must have been something worthwhile in the view somewhere  :)

This happened four separate times.

I had just wanted to take a photo of his camera on the table  :)

I finally gave up...
as this poor man was taking my actions as a cue to start taking photos...
thinking I had seen an especially photo worthy opportunity...
perhaps thinking that the plain old country houses were of historical significance :)


Another funny incident involved me.

Alex had a chicken caesar salad...
and I had ordered a cheese burger.

This was my first time on Amtrak.

When the waiter came to take my order...
I had order my cheese burger...
and had specified a medium well cooked burger.

The waiter looked at me with a deadpan face
as if he weren't sure if I were joking...
or if I were just an Amtrak newbie.

After seeing his reaction...
I had thought about it for a few seconds...
and it was then that I had realized that they didn't have
a full cooking facility on the dining car...
especially when they had only one hour to serve all who wished to eat.

It was set up like an airline...
where the food is precooked and refrigerated...
and then warmed up in a microwave  :)

Doh  :)


During lunch...
as there were many who wished to eat...
and with limited available seating...
all had to share their tables.

The couple we shared our table with was on their way to Reno for a small vacation
(this train went all the way to Chicago).

The coincidence was that they were from Modesto, CA.

They take this same trip every year for their wedding anniversary.

Modesto is where I had lived for 12 years...
and where Alex was born...
and where we lived for another 3 months...
until we moved to Ripon, CA for the next 10 years
(from Ripon, we then moved to our present location in Reno, NV...
over 3 years ago).



Right after lunch...
we went to the skyview car...
and stayed there for the remainder of the trip.


We had chosen a table location.


Alex enjoying the views...


in-between his iPad time  :)


We are climbing the mountains to higher and higher elevations in this picture.


The snow capped Sierra Nevadas are in the background as we make our way to them.


We are entering them here.

This year was a particularly dry year for the mountains.

Although there was snow on the upper mountains...
some years they are so heavily covered that there must be a special snow plow 
ahead of the train to clear the tracks.




They had commentary over the speakers as to the history of the particular locations 
we were passing throughout the trip. 


We had passed through many short tunnels as we made our way
 over the top of the mountains.



The skyview car is the way to travel.

It had the open feeling that...actually...
should have been throughout all of the cars.

These rail cars are many decades old.

They really should update them with one piece windows...
without the dividers interrupting the views.

The next article will have the remainder of the photos...
and some of my thoughts on some of the people we had overheard
as they talked about their lives...
and the fact that I shouldn't have been able to hear them in the first place  :)















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