Heading out, south of New York City into New Jersey on to DC early in the morning, I got some great "raising sun" moments and views, but the sun rising above the gorgeous Botanical Gardens and the Smithsonian institute was just amazing...
The trip offered unforgettable views of the Southeast's stunning natural beauty. I got to see gently rolling horse country, the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley, and the wild white-water rivers of West Virginia as they can only be seen by train. Heading westward, the train rolls along the banks of the mighty Ohio River — from the quaint towns of Ashland and Maysville, to the skyline of Cincinnati. From there, my journey continued to Indianapolis, and then northward to Chicago.
Part two was on AmTrak's California Zephyr.. Experienced travelers say the Zephyr is one of the most beautiful train trips in all of North America. As you climb through the heart of the Rockies, and further west through the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas, you may find it hard to disagree.
The Zephyr runs daily between Chicago and San Francisco, coursing through the plains of Nebraska to Denver, across the Rockies to Salt Lake City, and then through Reno and Sacramento into Emeryville/San Francisco.
Scenic highlights include:
- Rocky Mountains
- Sierra Nevadas
- Moffat Tunnel
- Colorado's Gore, Byers and Glenwood Canyons
- Winter Park