I had so much fun on Amtrak
The Amtrak Southwest Chief runs daily between Chicago and Los Angeles, through the vast expanse of the fabled American West.
I decided to take my wife this time. It is August 2014. Our first time Westbound. We decided to visit our son in Los Angeles. We took the Missouri River Runner to Kansas City and then changed to the Southwest Chief with direct service to Los Angeles. A 42 hour trip in all, following the route of the Atchison Topeka and Santé Fe, with stops in Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Barstow and San Bernardino. The Missouri River Runner follows the Missouri river through Jefferson City, the state capital to Kansas City.
Lots of boy scouts take the train to and from camp at Raton, NM. One group of scouts was taking the train from Chicago and got off, while anther group got on. They were on their way home in San Diego. All about eleven to fifteen years old, it was the trip of a lifetime.
We had fun talking to a soldier and his wife at Union station in Kansas City, he was a colonel and had been on many trains in Germany and Europe, but this was his first time on a train in the United States. He was retired. He and his wife were going to visit friends in Colorado. The Union station is beautiful as is the one in Los Angeles. Some of the other stations are not. Some are no more than a trailer.
From the observation car at night you can see many stars and planets. Saturday also happened to be the night of the super moon and the meteor shower. It was also my parents’ sixtieth wedding anniversary.
The route through Kansas passes through Topeka, Garden City and Dodge City at night. When we woke up Saturday morning we thought we were in Colorado, but we were still in Kansas for a little while. It was about 6:30 am, but already light outside. Traveling on Amtrak affords the opportunity of three on board meals, with silverware and menu service at a dinning car. One of the most interesting things is the conversations, you have with the other people, in the dinning car. You get to meet what I call the train people. People who have traveled by train their whole life.
New Mexico The train follows the old Santa Fe trail. When we crossed the state line at Gallup, we were running about 4 1/2 hours late. They assured us we would make it up and arrive at Los Angeles on time. Sunday morning.
Arizona Flagstaff, there is a connection here for the Grand Canyon. The train enters Arizona after dark so you don’t see much here. Kingman is the border with California, also for the old Mother Road, Route 66.
California The train pulled into Los Angeles, Union Station at 8:30 am, right on schedule after making up lost time that night traveling through the Mojave desert.