Chicago to Davis on Amtrak’s California Zephyr

After a nice overnight visit with my brother and his wife in Monmouth, Illinois, I re-boarded the Zephyr in Galesburg and headed for the west coast. Here are some random snaps from that portion of the journey.

 Coal train! One of many we passed, all heading east to several power plants, some of which burn all the coal in one of these 100-plus trains every single day.

 The Zephyr crosses the Mississippi River over this new bridge at Burlington, Iowa.

Morning, Day Two. One of several really spectacular portions of this rail journey is climbing up through the Flatirons an hour out of Denver.

Literally the high point of the ride today is passing through the 6-mile-long Moffat Tunnel at just over 9,100 feet elevation. My sleeper was the last car on the train, giving me the opportunity to get this photo just after we emerged.

We passed this magnificent mesa just 30 minutes before reaching Grand Junction, Colorado.

Crossing the Sierras after leaving Truckee, California, the Zephyr passes high above Donner Lake. Down below is the site where the Donner Party stalled for that terrible winter of 1846-47. How bad was that winter? When Spring finally came and the snow melted, stumps of trees they had cut down for firewood were 12 feet high!

Tomorrow it’s the Coast Starlight back to Los Angeles … home to Maui on Sunday!