Across NevadaSeptember 12, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C
It was farewell to Lake Tahoe today and indeed farewell to California. A quick brekky at the Sunnyside Lodge, followed by a final pack and cleaning of teeth, and we were off on the TART bus like a couple of tarts, to the historic frontier town of Truckee, where we would catch the California Zephyr that starts in San Francisco and goes all the way to Chicago. With this little town, I can't help thinking of the Ricki Lee Jones 1979 song 'Chuck E's in love,' but singing 'Truckee's in love' instead, which clearly makes no sense at all, unless you accept that Truckee loves Stu and Chris.
We had a few hours to see the glories of Truckee before our train came, so walked the length of the street a few times, stopped and had lunch at a diner, then waited for the Zephyr. Given that Truckee is in the mountains, the train actually has to travel quite slowly, so my imagined rush of wind and a great roar as the Zephyr ground to a stop in front of me didn't really actualise quite like that. There was a clanging bell to be sure, but nothing of great solemnity. The train sort of limped in and didn't so much grind to halt as fizzled to a halt. There were some squealing breaks, so I don't feel cheated completely out of a great rail experience.
Like I said in an earlier Footprint, the Zephyr is vey comfortable and a pleasure to be on. Since we're on it for thirteen hours and alighting in the wee small hours of the morning in Salt Lake City, we got a sleeping car. Equipped with two fetching bunks and all the mod cons (showing my age there - no-body under 50 uses the phrase mod-cons), we were also favoured by the ticketing gods to dine with others in the dining car. No cafe snack for us, no siree. Chris had a nice burtternut risotto washed down with a Bud, and I had a chicken breast with mashed potatoe and gravy, washed down with a glass of Chardy. We were seated by the maitre d' opposite two individual men who were absolutely enchanting. Before long, the four of us were all comparing stories about governance, indigenous peoples, tax, cruises, accents and the like. Therte were a few hearty laughs, which you might be surprsed at, given the list of topics we covered, but there you are, Chris and I can make tax funny.
The scenery as you leave California and head into Nevada is quite breath-taking. It is brown and rocky for a way, then eventually it turns into huge mountains and what looks like salt plains. It is all very desolate but there is a great beauty in that too. One of the few staions the train stops at is Winnemucca, made famous by the Tales of the City books by Armistead Maupin. Therre's not much there and even though I couldn't see the Blue Moon brothel, I feel it was still there, even if only in its literary form. Winnemucca is nestled under Winnemucca Mountain which is actually quite impressive.
As I write, we have dined, read, posted, and are going to listen to music for awhile before turning in. I'm planning on listening to Saint Saens 2nd piano concerto in G Minor which feels just right for where I am and what I'm doing. We are both a bit weary but of good cheer and enjoying our adventure. We have a 3am appointment with the Salt Lake City train station and, hopefully not long after that, a very welcome bed in a nice hotel in the city.
It's been nice having you along. I hope you are enjoying our little sojourn overseas from the comfort of your own homes. Feel free to temporarily download the Find Penguins app if you want to make some comments. Till next.Read more