Friday, January 9, 2015

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



Song:  Flight Of The Imagination

Group:  Future World Music




Ok...
now for my views on certain person's actions in public.

The man with his head on the window...


and his wife...and the man with his back to us...
while their stories were somewhat interesting...
they were presented in too loud a fashion.

Why wouldn't this man move over to talk with the couple...
especially as they had talked almost non-stop the whole of the trip?

The worst part of it?

So as they could still hear each other during the commentary over the speakers...
they not only talked during the commentary from the guide...
they had raised their voices so they could talk uninterrupted.  

The only saving grace was their stories were often more interesting than 
that which was said over the speakers.

However...
the fact that I could hear them at all...was obnoxious of them.

My expectations of public behavior is where I am 
more Japanese than I am American.

Alex is the same.

Even when he was FaceTiming his mother over his iPad...
he kept the volume down on both...
his iPad...and his voice.

At one point...
as Alex was putting his ear next to his iPad to hear his mother speaking...
I told him to just raise the volume some.

Alex replied that he didn't wish to disturb the others.

This is so Alex.

Alex is also very Japanese in public.
I am quite proud of his thoughtfulness and consideration toward others.


Although the majority of Americans are respectful of others...
there are almost always several in a group who are quite inconsiderate of others.

Now...
having said this...
the man with the wife had some interesting things to say.

He is a Vietnam War Veteran...
who, by the way he was talking...
was a Combat Engineer...
and who, after the war...
could not continue with his career in the service
because he had had a motorcycle accident in which he had
broken his back and had crushed his pelvis.

He later started his own business
as a fire fighting consultant...
and had seemed to have been quite successful.

He talked about how he and his wife spend a lot of time riding the rails 
around the country during their vacations.


Although it was somewhat cloudy...
the views were still nice.

For the majority of the trip in the mountains...
the train traveled at approximately 30 MPH.

The ride was smooth...
and, as we moved at a relatively slow pace...
everyone had more time to take in the views.



 I was quite surprised at how close to the mountain walls we were...
although it made for interesting views...
especially of the ice falls.




Now...
the man in the cowbow hat was probably the most interesting fellow on the train.

He had, over the years...
amassed over 60,000 miles by rail.

He runs his own rail vacation business.

He was constantly taking rail trips to scout out possible new routes to include
in his vacation packages.

By the way he was talking...
he either, rented luxury railcars...
or had owned them outright...
and then put together 16 day rail packages through particular locations.

He talked about how they had private chefs...
luxury cabins...
sleeping berths...
and layovers in particularly beautiful areas.


The bad part was that he was talking to the loud couple  :)



Here is another thing I don't understand.

See the two tables on the left nearest me?

For hours on end...
throughout the most beautiful sections of the train ride...
they kept their heads buried in their cards as they played...
in the case of the cowboy hat man's table...
Cribbage.



This man had the right idea.
He sat quietly and had just taken in the views.






A view of Donner Lake once again.


We had briefly switched to the left side of the train.






We then switched back to the right side of the train for the remainder of the ride.






The man drinking the beer was also quite interesting.

He is a woodworker by trade.
He makes furniture, and does carpentry and drywall.

He also owns vacation rental property which...
by the way he was talking...
was lucrative enough to afford him some financial security.

His friend really didn't give clues as to his profession...
although he did talk about certain agricultural passions...
of a particular type that is enjoyed by many youth  :)

By the sound of it...
they were either from Hawaii...
or had done jobs there.

They were, surprisingly, quite considerate of others.

They had kept their voices to reasonable levels.

For fairly young people...
especially ones who were drinking...
they had surprised me.

They had been raised well.

Cowboy hat man had left by this time...
and we were just a short ways from Reno at this point.


More views of the Truckee River.


The water sluice on the right is actually operational.
It feeds a very small hydroelectric plant just down the line.

Probably a small, family, or community...
owned power plant which provides power 
to the local mountain homes.


As the water sluice leaks in certain areas...
there is ice showing where the leaks are.


We are rolling into Reno at this point.



Although we greatly enjoyed our trip...
it is always good to be back in Reno.


We headed back to the garage where we had parked...
and which had a very reasonable rate.

We parked there for 2 days...
for a total price of $7.50.

Actually...
the California Zephyr Snow Train ride from Reno to Sacramento...
and back (round trip)...
for two reserved coach seats...
was just $316.00.

A very reasonable price for such great views.


Alex had a good time...
and so...
I had a good time.

Overall...
Alex is a home body.

He has everything at home...
and so...
 just loves being here.

Still...
he enjoys venturing out...
so long as the vacation isn't for long.


This was a well deserved trip just for Alex.

We hope...
by this time next year...
to take a trip to visit his maternal grandparents in Japan.

He had taken a trip to visit them when he was 6 years old.

He is very much looking forward to next year's trip.

We will probably take a Japanese train ride while there.

I think he will be highly impressed at the difference.

America's trains simply cannot compare to Japan's.

Japan's trains are modern (most of them)...
very clean and comfortable...
and they have food and beverages for sale...
and they are delivered by roaming attendants pushing 
carts down the aisles.

Now that is service!

















2 comments:

  1. What a nice little adventure! I especially like the skyview car. It's a great way to see the beautiful scenery without having to drive in the snow or ice.

    I'm sure the Japanese trains are nicer, but it is nice to know that Amtrak offers great experiences like this. A train journey is something I've thought of, but have found the ideal one yet.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so glad we had gone. Cowboy hat man operated out of Chigago. He was talking of 16 day trips, but it sounded as if he had shorter ones. Also, the Zephyr runs out of Chicago. I've read that the run through the Rockies is a particularly beautiful stretch. Having a private cabin is the way to go. They have their own bathrooms and an area all their own with the ability to sleep in the cabins. Next time we go...that is how we shall do it. It is only a little bit more.

    ReplyDelete

Please feel free to comment on this article.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...