After posting Sunday we crossed the mighty Mississippi into Iowa. Flat, dry, burned crops. At 5:30 we went to the dining car. The dining car was like an old time movie, white table cloths, linen napkins, silverware and waiters. The food was very good. The tables seated four, we were joined by another woman on our trip who is traveling alone and a female truck driver headed to Nebraska to pick up a new job. In between her interesting commentary about her job she was counting down the minutes to Ottumwa Iowa where she could get off the train for a cigarette. I’m so glad that monkey is off my back.
The great adventure was getting ready for bed. Gayle and I have a roomette which converts into two beds, an upper and a lower. The porter comes, pulls a bar under the seat and moves the two seats into a bed. He lowers the upper bunk and pulls down a futon that is already made up for the lower bunk. The best part was me hauling my old, well endowed butt up into the skinny little bunk that looks like a sardine can with one narrow side peeled away. Much laughing ensued as I trudged up the tiny stairs and tried to position my self for sleep. Once I was settled Gayle hooked the safety harness so I would not roll out of bed. Sleeping was only fair, trains shake and wobble with no respect for my comfort. I had suggested to Gayle that we needed to think of it as a big mother rocking us to sleep. I wish that image had been true.
Outside of Denver Colorado we had a two hour delay while they tried to move a damaged train off the track.
On the way to Winter Park we went through 28 tunnels in thirty minutes and then went through Moffat Tunnel. The tunnel is 6.2 mi long. When it was built in 1926 it cut 176 miles off the trip between Denver and the Pacific. It also saved countless hours of snow removal from the tracks.
The rest of the day will be spent on the train watching mountains, canyons, rivers,eagles and fisherman pass our window. The vegetation is becoming shorter- more scrub like the rocks a little redder as we travel farther west.
I have to say this is a lot more seat time then I imagined and the organization is not visible to the naked eye.