Overnight to Denver on the Zephyr.
The third rail leg of this journey has brought me here from Chicago aboard the California Zephyr, Amtrak’s train #5. It’s probably Amtrak’s most popular long-distance train and it’s certainly the most scenic one. That said, the only really interesting event on the Zephyr’s first day is crossing the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa. Unless, of course, you’re fascinated by corn and soybeans.
Even though I booked eight months ago, I nevertheless ended up in roomette #14. Numbers 10-14 are on the lower level and I really try to avoid these rooms because there is a lot more track noise and at stops during the night, people on platforms can look right in at you when you’re sleeping. Neither of those is a problem when your roomette is on the upper level.
There is one advantage to being on the lower level, however. You are within a few steps of three lavatories and the shower room, all of which are on the lower level.
(And that reminds me: I’ve been meaning to ask why it is that some people do not flush the toilets in the lavatories on Amtrak’s long-distance trains? I mean, go figure!)
I woke up this morning in darkness, the train rolling along very slowly–perhaps 4-5 miles an hour–and rain pelting on the window. I pulled out my Smart Phone and, after noting that the time was just a couple of minutes after 6:00 a.m., summoned Siri.
Me: Siri, where am I?
Siri: Denver, Colorado.
Denver, Colorado?? My God! We’re here an hour early!
Me: Siri! What’s the temperature in Denver?
Siri: Thirty-seven degrees.
Me: Holy —–
There are a great many better ways to start a day.