Salt Lake City, Utah to The River City

I’m determined to finish writing about my trip – I’ve got many photos and links to share and it may take me awhile but I’m going to keep updating this blog about the trip. Day 3 of the trip was one of the highlights – it was a day to hang out on the train, chat with my fellow passengers and just enjoy the scenery of heading through the Rocky Mountains

Amtrak's California Zephyr Route from Salt Lake City to Denver

Amtrak’s California Zephyr Route from Salt Lake City to Denver

Salt Lake City, Utah to Grand Junction, Colorado

The train departed Salt Lake City around 3:30am.  I wanted to wake up and take a peek at the Salt Lake City train station but, after the trip to get to San Francisco and all of the excitement of the first few days, I slept right through the stop and woke up around 8 am somewhere in Utah.  According to the train timetable I probably woke up near Green River, Utah.

view from the Millennial Train of Utah

Good Morning Utah

The rest of the day was just filled with incredible scenery and sparkling conversation.  We didn’t have much access to photo/data reception during this part of the trip. Here is some of the scenery between Utah and Grand Junction, Colorado…

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The River City

Grand Junction Amtrak Station

Grand Junction Amtrak Station (Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn)

One of the nice things about coming back and writing about my trip is that I get to go back and look up all of the historical questions that I asked and wasn’t able to find an answer to while we were on the train.  One of the things I looked up en-route was the origins of the name “Grand Junction” – here is the story from Wikipedia:

The city is located along the Colorado River, where it receives the Gunnison River from the south. The name “Grand” refers to the historical Grand River, which was renamed the upper Colorado River in 1921, and the word “Junction” is from the joining of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers. Hence, Grand Junction has been given the nickname “River City”.

I am amused that Grand Junction has the nickname River City, compared to the three rivers that run through the city of Pittsburgh, the Colorado River near Grand Junction looks like, what some Pittsburghers might call – a creek.

Blue Skies over A Vintage Train Car

Spending a day in a dome car of a vintage train gives you a different perspective on lots of things.  But one of the things that struck me most – is the sky.  Maybe it is because most of the time, I’m in a building and not looking right up at the clouds passing by, maybe the sky is just more blue over Colorado.  I hope that everyone has the opportunity to take a train between Salt Lake City and Devner and spend some time looking at the sky over the rocky mountains. I continued to be captivated by the sky over Denver – I do think that the sky over Colorado has its own shade of blue. And even now that I’m back in Pittsburgh and it isn’t overcast and grey – I find myself noticing the sky more often that I did before. Here are two of my favorite photos from the day because they capture the train and the sky in one frame.


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