I want to start off by saying WOW. what a difference from the first 2 segments and this segment. This part was from Chicago, IL. To Emeryville, CA. This was a very long trip. But well worth it. Once our train arrived we where all given numbered tickets. Just like the last train. Which meant that i was stuck again sitting with a stranger. I was a bit irritated. But luckily this time it was an older gentlemen that i was to sit with. He seamed like a nice person but of course there was awkward silence. We left right on time and we got about a mile down the track then all of a sudden they came over the intercom and made an announcement. I was in shock. This was the first time that had happened so far. The person introduced the train and what the route would consist of. And then informed us that we would be making an emergence stop. Everyone was confused. Sure enough the train stopped. And an ambulance arrived along side the train. No one knew what was going on. Within a few moments we were on our way again. Come to find out an older man had a heart attack as the train was leaving the station. Sad news.
We traveled thru Illinois. Then Iowa, then Nebraska. Nothing to exciting in these areas. Folks would be telling their story and getting acquainted. Of course i shared with my seat neighbors what i was doing and they had many questions and what not. So we all chatted for some time. Then it became late. My wife and kids were sleeping at home(we have kept in contact the whole trip) i missed them very much. So i reclined my seat and grabbed my little pillow and out i went into sleep land. It was a terrible nights sleep. Its tough to sleep in that position. I woke up to a great sunset entering into Colorado. We arrived at Denver station and had a walk break. This was a time for us to get off the train and stretch and get some fresh air. It was an interesting site to see all the “pot heads” smoking in plain sight. And made me sick so i returned to the train.
Just as we left Denver the scenery began to amaze me. The houses were huge. And the foot hills of the Rockies were just so massive. We climbed up these foothills and saw views that would take your breath away. I took so many pictures my hand was hurting from holding my phone. It was amazing. We snaked our way thru this area. For a long time. Thru 31. Yes 31 tunnels. And across what seemed like very small cliffs. We then entered into the canyon that the Colorado river runs thru. And this was the icing on the cake. The shear size of these mountains and rocks, the pictures i took do it no justice. This is something that everyone should see at least once in their life. Just amazing. You will have to go to my Facebook page to see the pictures and videos. To many to post here. We saw many rafters going down the river along with kayaks. We then came down out of the mountains and saw a few ski resort areas. Picked up some more folks dropped off some others.
We then entered into Utah. This also had some nice views but was getting dark so we did not see to much of it. Around 1230 this night my seat partner got his turn to get off the train. He was a super awesome guy. His name was Matt. He was probably in his 60s or 70s. I did not get much out of him about his life or family but he showed many pictures of his hunting and hiking experiences with his son. He was from Colorado and Utah originally so he told me a lot about what different stuff was along the way. Like names of cliffs and where the wild life usually is. He had great knowledge and it was awesome to get to meet him. Of course most of what i told him about myself was about my wife and kids.
Shortly after he exited. This family of Amish folks got off at there stop. They also had been with us since Chicago. They did not say much at first. But then what appeared to be the husband or older male figure anyways, talked to me and Matt about some things they had seen on other train rides. At this time. I felt comfortable enough to ask the older woman in the group what it was that she was making. You see she had a bunch of different color beads of different sizes as well as fishing line. It looked like she was making bracelets. But she was actually making bells. It was amazing to see her working and creating this bell all by hand. I asked if she sells them back home and she said yes. I told her that the my daughter loves the color purple she was using and she said she would make that one for my daughter. I was so grateful. What a nice thing to do and to give as a gift. I asked her how much and she said $5. And i said no way. That is worth more then that. And she ended up getting $10 for it. I tried to give more but she refused. So they were great to meet as well.
After this i had the whole seat to myself. I was ecstatic. So i sprawled right out and passed out. I was so tired. In the morning i woke up to yet another amazing sunset. This time in Nevada. This area was kinda boring. Mainly just desert. And a wild rabbit now and then. Gave a little more time to get to know some of the guys i noticed had been on my new York train as well. One didn’t talk much but i found out he was from Maryland. Just turned 21 and wanted to visit the west coast before he had to be an adult. At 21 he should of already been an adult. But not my life. The other guy appeared to be around my age. His name was Jeff. He had many hiking stories. Many dirt bike adventures and much more. He was from San Francisco. And had been in Maine on a family hiking and camping expo of some sort. And he decided to take the train back. He was very down to earth and cool to chat with. I did not get a chance to sit in the observation cart during this trip due to the same people staying in there and taking up the seats the entire trip. It was disappointing and would have been nice if they had a second observation car.
As we came thru California we climbed some other mountains and also got to see the Donner lake from above. Then we also got to see a huge bay area just north of Emeryville that had some massive cargo ships filled with Cars and trucks fresh from the factories along with oil tankers. We went over the longest iron bridge on the west side of the Mississippi as they said. And now here i am in Emeryville. A neat looking town. Not much for food close but a short walk or bus ride and it looks like many options. That is all for now folks. Keep watching for more.