Last month we went on a true Adventure when we took the Amtrak train (the “California Zephyr”) from Salt Lake City to Colorado (Glenwood Springs). Our final destination was Snowmass Village, Colorado (which is near Aspen) where we attended the Utah Bar convention.
The train trip itself went very well — even though it was 9 hours each way. We brought our portable DVD player (along with several “new” DVDs we borrowed from the library) and busied ourselves with napping, watching the scenery along the way, and stopping at the cafe cart for snacks.
The Snowmass Village area was beautiful and we enjoyed taking several gondola rides and going on hikes in the area. We went swimming every day at the hotel pool and had some great meals. We even stumbled upon an outdoor concert with a great view of the entire valley.
Although we had a great vacation, there was definitely a downside to our grand train adventure. The trains were insanely delayed both times. By several hours. Train travel in the US is definitely not for people who are on any kind of schedule or timeframe — it is only best enjoyed if you have no pressing need to arrive at your destination at any particular time. We also had to deal with leaving and arriving in the middle of the night (3-4am). Theo was a trooper and took it all in stride, but this means of travel may not be in our future ever again. Perhaps this is only what it’s like in the Mountain West (we’ve taken Amtrak on the East coast without any problems lots of times) but if you need to travel between California and Chicago (which is the route our train took) be prepared to do a lot of waiting and be very relaxed about your schedule.