Day three – Friday October 5, 2018

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Good Morning!    The alarm went off for us today at 7 AM  Central Time, but shortly after we got out of bed, we crossed into Colorado, and Mountain time!  As the sun started to make its presence known, we were near Granada and the weather app told us it was 47 degrees.  The compass app on my phone says we’re at 3000 plus feet, so we are heading upward.  Here’s a look out our window this morning.

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We went to breakfast about 7:30, and again, a full Dining Car and kitchen made all the difference!  Take a look at our breakfast choices, what I had (sorry…started eating before I took a pic) and it’s all included in our fare!

As we were at breakfast our weather changed from foggy to clear and sunny…it was very nice!  

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The Observation Car

B3DFC104-FA8C-4675-B482-5E90E3AEEADEAfter breakfast, we explored a bit.  We checked out the Observation Car, and both agreed that the view from our bedroom is just as good.  The seating in the Observation Car isn’t as comfortable as in our bedroom, and as we observed yesterday, Coach passengers took up the majority of seats.  Then we went down the stairs to check out the Cafe Lounge, as we keep hearing announcements from the Cafe Attendant Brittany about all she sells there.  The Lounge is an area with about 5 tables, and Brittany sells snacks, breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as drinks and things like playing cards.  Looked to us like a “fast food” version of the Dining Car for Coach passengers who don’t want to pay Dining car prices for meals.  On the way back to our room, every seat on the Observation level of the car was full, mainly by Coach folks.  

Shortly after we got back to our bedroom, our Car Attendant Pinky came by to change it back into the day mode.  We planned showers for this morning, and Susie asked her a couple of questions about how it worked.  Pinky suggested we check out the shower on the lower level, which she said was more like home, where our’s in the room version is RV like.  We did, and she was correct, so as I write this, Susie is down using it!  Depending on how it works out for her, I may do the same thing!!  It worked out just fine…don’t we smell and look better!!  Hell, I even shaved!   

The rest of the morning was spent traveling in some beautiful country as Colorado and then New Mexico glided by our picture window.  We’re at much higher elevation now, just passing Raton Tunnel with a sign saying we were at 7,588 feet, the highest point of the Santa Fe!  From what I read just now via Google, BNSF who owns the tracks through the pass, has pretty much abandoned freight service there due to the excessive grade, so it’s mostly AMTRAK’s Trains #3 and #4, the East and Westbound versions of the Southwest Chief, that are its exclusively daily users.  Here’s a picture I found of the Chief exiting the tunnel.

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Susie took some great pictures of the passing scenery, and here are some for your enjoyment!

We’re now moving along at 80 mph (I opened Waze and it told me), relaxing in our bedroom, reading, snoozing, and waiting for our 1 PM lunch reservation. 

LUNCH…first let me admit I forgot to take any pictures. Sorry. Then let me tell you we had the pleasure of sitting with this couple who sat across from us at breakfast.  This morning, both Susie and I thought he was the most obnoxious a-hole we’d heard during our train riding the last couple of days, saying the stupidest things to the couple they were sitting with.  Happy to say, he was not an ass at lunch.  Then we get back and realize he and his wife are in bedroom B…right next to us!  Oh well, they’re getting off in Albuquerque.  Oh, and what did Susie and I have for lunch?  Two very tasty bacon cheese burgers!  

Speaking about our table mates getting off at Albuquerque, they told us they are headed to the Albuquerque International Ballon Festival, which runs from tomorrow to October 14th. I think it’s the 48th year for this festival, and its a pretty big deal.  

Perhaps because of that, our train is full to capacity, and everybody we talk to, or overhear  talking to their table mates at a meal, seems to be heading to Albuquerque!   We get there later this afternoon, and perhaps it will be just the two of us from Albuquerque to Los Angeles!  I also think it’s fun to spell Albuquerque! (And think about the song”Albuquerque, is a Turkey,” which our kids learned from their elementary school music teacher, Marianne Craven….a wonderful teacher and friend!)

We enjoyed the afternoon, played a game of 5000, had some vodka, and even visited Brittany in the Cafe Car, because we used up all our brought vodka. It was a nice afternoon and early evening.  Through it all, we  enjoyed the beauty of America, just outside our picture window.  Enjoy what we saw!

Dinner tonight was wonderful!  The train is empty, so it really was nice in the Dining Car.  Tables for two all over the place, not crazy busy and much quieter, and we got to interact with the staff. So nice!  Susie and I had a garden salad with ranch dressing, butternut squash risotto with chicken, a Creme brûlée’s parfait, and a nice bottle of Chardonnay.  Here are our dinner pics from today….okay, so we ate almost everything before I remembered pics.  Sorry!

 

 

After dinner, we came back to the bedroom, had the rest of our Brittany Vodka, and played another game of 5000.  Susie won tonight and I won this afternoon!   We’re tied 2 games each on the train!  

As the train made a “smoke stop” in Flagstaff, Arizona, Susie and I decided to take in a little air, and saw several familiar folks getting off the train.

A quiet and early night, as we’ll be up early to prepare for our arrival in Union Station, Los Angeles, having completed the first leg in our trek to the Kenny and Christopher Wedding Festivities!  Looking forward to seeing our boys tomorrow!

PS…Happy Birthday Dad!  He would have been 108 today and has been gone for close to 35 years.  

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