The scenic California Zephyr route is 2,438 miles long and boasts views of the upper Colorado River valley in the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
by Susan Mellen
Our very first Amtrak adventure took us from Elyria, Ohio, to Klamath Falls, Oregon, to see family after 18 years. On our lovely scenic train rides, the train was relaxing and it was really nice to just sit back, enjoy the spectacular scenery and let someone else do the driving.
Our sleeper Roomette from Chicago to Portland was small but comfy and it felt good to stretch out at night, lulled to sleep by the sway of the train. The food was delicious and we enjoyed the attentive first class service by Joe, the Dining Car manager.
It was interesting to pass through the quaint little towns and station stops, auto graveyards and abandoned ranches of the west as well as take note of the bigger city stops. And, of course, the people were interesting. We found several that were traveling west to grandchildren's graduations and family get-togethers. Lots of kids onboard made it a fun time for our own kids, who enjoyed time in the Observation Car on the lookout for wild animals. We saw deer, turkey, pheasants, coyote, prairie dogs, antelope and jackrabbits.
After a week on the West coast taking in the sites of Oregon and California, we boarded the train for a shortened trip to Denver due to Midwest flooding.
While onboard, we enjoyed the sights and had excellent service from George in the Dining Car. He's first class all the way, even memorized our drink orders and knew that our youngest son didn't like salad with his meal.
A wrench in the trip was our unexpected flight home instead of enjoying the California Zephyr to Chicago due to flooding in the Midwest. All in all we had very scenic train rides east to west and west to midwest. Thank you Joe and George for many wonderful meals.