Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I expected our ascent into the mountains to be a straight forward, high speed run up the hill. I was surprised to discover that we would meander our way up in ever widening circles. Slowly.

The trip from Denver to Grand Junction takes about 4 hours by car, 8 hours on the train. If I had to guess, I would say we averaged about 30 - 40 mph. There were times where our passage was not much wider than the train itself.

But what a stunning ride! My eyes did not feel big enough to contain all the beauty that surrounded me. I hated to blink, or use the restroom, or even take pictures because I was afraid I would miss something.

46 tunnels on this stretch of track. Each time you exit one, there is another 'Oh my God' vista.

One of the tunnels is called the Moffat tunnel. 6.2 miles long. It travels under the continental divide. Each time a train passes through, the railroad has to clean the diesel fumes out. Before we entered, the conductor announced that we must remain in the car we are in for the duration of the tunnel (10 minutes). Otherwise the fumes would be able to enter the cars through the doors you must open to get from one car to another, killing us all. A great incentive to stay put.

Next stop, Grand Junction, Colorado!

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