Mo & Terry Smedley


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Part 10 - Denver - Sacramento - Olympia

After our tour returned to Denver, we rode home on the California Zephyr to Sacramento, then changed trains to the Coast Starlight to Olympia.

Denver Union Station in the morning sun.  This magnificent structure now hosts just two trains a day - the Westbound California Zephyr in the morning, and the Eastbound Zephyr in the afternoon. At the "Big Ten Curves", the Rio Grande Railroad permanently positioned a string of hopper cars to serve as a shield against the severe winds in this area.  The cars in this photo are welded to the rails. The Zephyr rounds the horseshoe curve at the "Big Ten" just out of Denver. In the distance, above the horseshoe curve, you can see a freight train headed down the grade towards Denver.
(Taken at a shallow angle through a PlexiGlas window)  With a little imagination, you can make out the East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel (6 miles long) through the Rockies. The Zephyr heads down the Glenwood Canyon. Glenwood Canyon.  
    Mo said this looked "McGyverish".  I had to shove a tooth proxy brush under the GPS connector to maintain a connection to the computer.  I don't really remember how I came up with this "fix". Entering Ruby Canyon
Balancing rocks at Ruby Canyon. The next morning, the Zephyr heads up to Donner Pass in the Sierras. Mo likes this ...  a string of no doubt irritated motorists waits for the Zephyr to finish its (brief) station stop at Truckee, California (near Lake Tahoe). During our layover in Sacramento, we met up with Mo's brother Pat and us wife Vera, along with their daughter Connie, husband Dave, and sons Nathan and Ryan.
Look-alikes Mo and Connie, in Old Sacramento on a very hot day. Morning on the Coast Starlight finds us working our way over the Willamette Pass.  It was nice to see the tall evergreens again.  This is at Lake O'Dell, just East of the summit.