We awoke to our final day on the train. We were surprised to discover that so many people had gotten off the train at Salt Lake City. I cannot imagine having to disembark during the night but I suppose they did alright. After breakfast (remember, we still had the COVID menu, so we were thoroughly tired of the breakfast menu by now), we went into the observation car and found it mostly empty. We sat for a while and watched the flat desert land of Utah and Nevada pass by. It was still incredibly beautiful to me.
This is scenery we never see at home in the deep South. We watched huge cattle ranches pass by. They were spread over massive stretches of land. We watched land filled with absolutely nothing except scrub shrubs. No trees, no animals, no water. The land was achingly beautiful. Stark, still, somber…majestic.
That morning, we met a wonderful couple from Indiana who own a ranch and used to raise and show Western Quarter horses. We had the best time visiting, and lunching, with them. That is one of the best thing about train travel – all of the great people you meet.
Within a few hours we were climbing again. Right after our stop in Reno, we began climbing into the Sierra Nevadas. Glorious scenery once again. In places, we rose above the treeline where the snow never melts. We looked down on Lake Tahoe. We stopped at Truckee, California and my husband and I reminisced about the time we stayed in Tahoe and and spent the day in Truckee. Such a great little town. We went on up, through Donner Pass. The thought of all that land had witnessed is not for the faint of heart.
All too soon we were slipping down out of the mountains and into Sacramento. We were running terribly late, so the stops were quick. Smokers were simply out of luck. We arrived in Emeryville about five-thirty in the evening – two hours late but we didn’t mind. The trip had been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A two thousand, four hundred, and thirty-mile journey through seven states. I’m ready to do it all over again next year. Come join me!