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The Southwest Chief historic route was first traversed by the earliest Indians who first discovered its twists, turns and passes.

On the Southwest Chief

My 50th Birthday Present

by Maggie Walker

Camdenton, Missouri

My birthday is in September. The February previous to my birthday, I decided I wanted to take a train ride for my 50th birthday. I scheduled the trip from Kansas City to Albuquerque and looked forward to it for more than six months. I wasn't letting anything stop me from taking this trip, and I didn't, but that's another story.

I traveled with a stuffed animal, "Marie," from The Aristocats. She had a great time. We were in Coach on the trip to Albuquerque and a Roomette on the return trip. The snack car on the way out held a good selection, but the Dining Car on the way back was wonderful. The food was great.

All of the staff was wonderful. Conductor Joe had greeted me (by name) as I approached the train in the Albuquerque station. The conductor was cooperative when I asked if he would pose with Marie and the train.

I felt safe, cared for, and totally at ease... I certainly recommend a trip on Amtrak.

It didn't take long to figure out I was probably the only person boarding there, or at least the only woman traveling alone. I felt safe, cared for, and totally at ease. The berth (bed) was very comfortable. I wasn't on the train long enough to be able to enjoy breakfast, though, as we pulled into the station at 7:00 am.

My favorite memory is the curvy ride between New Mexico and Colorado. I got some great pictures of the engine/train on the curves.

It was Marie's first trip as a friend had challenged me to take something with me. When I returned home I created a slideshow of my entire trip. Marie had a really good time in New Mexico. I certainly recommend a trip on Amtrak. When my grandson is a bit older I hope to be able to take him on a day trip. I think he would enjoy it.