June 13 California Zephyr

I began the day with a 5:45 wake up call. Not on my list of favorite ways to start the day. But I had already checked the bedside clock several times through the wee hours; I got out of bed and turned on the lights.

I had done no prep the day before, so I picked the clothes to wear, packed my bags and took a shower to last for three days. I checked out, and had only to walk across Market street to wait for the Amtrak connector bus.

It was scheduled for 7:15 on the schedule I had, and it was only 6:40 when I arrived. The bus came, loaded 4 of us and luggage and was gone by 6:50. Good thing I was early.

A few more stops and then it was over the Bay Bridge to Emeryville. There’s another bridge under construction next to the second half of the current bridge. It will include a pedestrian walk with periodic benches. It’s seven miles across the bay.

I waited over an hour and through several other train arrivals and departure before boarding the Number 6 train, the California Zephyr once again. This time for a three day / two night trip to Chicago.

After being awake for 4 hours I was getting a bit sleepy. I took a small nap over the familiar path with a variety of stops.

Later I had lunch with three Californian’s in the dining cart. An older couple was headed to Chicago and going to drive Route 66 back. The other was heading to her hometown in Nebraska. She implored us to check for the Morman Trail Museum arch early in the morning. She was slightly defensive about her home state and sprung to its defense before it could be attacked.

I read for a bit after lunch and listened to some podcasts. We passed through some dead dirt looking places. Playas?They looked like they had received some recent rain. There were also, oddly, some marshlike wetlands.

Later we passed through sagebrush with mountains in the distance most of the way. By the time the attendant came through for dinner reservations all that was left was 8:30, which is fine with me, though last time some of the items were no longer available.

We stopped about 8:00p in Winnemucca Nevada. It’s the first real town we had seen since leaving Reno, and it seemed rather small. There was no station to speak of, just a bus shelter and a parking lot. There was a hotel a block away that didn’t seem much larger than a house.

It was just a brief smoke and/or walk on Terra Firma break and we were once again headed east (northeast?) as the sun set over the mountains to our left.

I had dinner with a mom and son heading to Utah, then Idaho, to help her daughter pack and move back to Nevada. And a married lady with several kids but traveling alone. Her husband and sons had flown to Michegan for football camp. She has grown weary of flying and was going to meet them there.

I retired to my seat where it was mostly dark. Watched some video podcasts from the past week and was trying to sleep by midnight.

We had two latenight stops, and a guy had claimed the seat next to me around 2:30 in Salt Lake City.