Saturday, September 1, 2012

The rail-seasoned traveler passes through Colorado. Been there, done that.

I woke up in the least interesting corner of Colorado, aboard the westbound California Zephyr paralleling Interstate 76. As what always happens, my nose is clogged up from the AC.

At breakfast the view of the coming sunrise was pleasant but the topic of conversation between my communal table-mates left something to be desired. Blah, blah, blah. The corned beef hash took me aback in presentation, wearing a cap of scrambled eggs. The dish was certainly moist, but I longed for crispness on the hash. The wedges of skin-on potatoes were the star attraction and a decided improvement from breakfasts I've been served in the past.

Having rode the Zephyr enough times, the stop in Denver and the ride up the Front Range was fairly textbook and on time. But I do dig mountain tunnels, and enjoyed our passage through the many encountered along the way culminating with the six mile Moffat Tunnel.

I've taken enough pics of the scenery through Colorado to not be terribly interested in doing so on this occasion, but still I snapped a few photos along the way [see blog posts: Part 1 and Part 2].

Lunch somewhere between Granby and Glenwood Springs was par for the course. As I have done so in the past I ordered a black bean burger with cheese and bacon, but somewhere in translation I ended up with an Angus patty instead. Likely the interesting combo of fake and flesh must have perplexed some hard-working chef's mind.

An opportunity for a breath of fresh air at Glenwood Springs was a little sewagey, but more likely the out-gassing of sulphur from a nearby hot springs.

I thought to skip another delightful communal dining experience that evening in favor of something from the snack shop in Grand Junction, but upon arrival I forgot how utterly dumpy and inadequate the little shop in the station was.

Dinner companions were truly abysmal. The ride was bumpy enough to make any food photography impossible. Just as well, Amtrak's token vegetarian pasta dish tends to be their weakest point. The side of vegetables tend to be the most interesting thing on the plate. I skipped dessert to get away from these insular, conservative, privileged, white bread WASPs as quickly as possible. Just because I'm wearing a Flash t-shirt does neither make me a "comiconer" nor a "gamer."

I tucked into the comforting confines of my roomette for the night and slept right through the overnight pit stop in Salt Lake City, and on well past Elko, Nevada.

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