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Nov 28 2017

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All Aboard… On Our Way

By Michael Buckley, Assoc. Publisher, 50 Plus Marketplace News

What started out as a present-day trip to Glenwood Springs, soon became a trip down memory line. When I became aware the train to the Springs was the California Zepher which I had traveled on 50 plus years ago with my grandmother from San Francisco to Chicago. A trip full of treasured memories.

Let’s get back to present day. The Glenwood Springs trip had been on my Bucket List. An unexpected opportunity to make the trip came about. I had the pleasure of traveling with a group of folks from the Fort Lupton Senior Center. A fun group to be sure…

We all boarded the California Zepher for the 6+ hour trip. Our tour director Linda made all the arrangements including all having seats in the same coach car. Welcome aboard we heard. And, from Union Station in Denver we were on our way.

The train ride was exceptionally enjoyable. The scenery along the way was truly nature at its best featuring flatlands, mountains and the Colorado river, rapids and all. Herds of deer were often observed; as well as a good-sized moose taking a stroll along a road. A rather leisurely one! The Zepher passed through twenty-nine tunnels before getting to the 6.2-mile Moffat Tunnel; an extraordinary engineering accomplishment. I believe there was about 10 or so minutes of darkness going through the tunnel.

As the train headed for Glenwood Springs, there were many conversations taking place, laughter was easily heard. There were opportunities to walk from car to car eventually coming to a café for a cup of coffee or snack; then on to the observation car for a stop to meet fellow travelers, look at the marvelous landscape before the jaunt back to the coach where I along with other members of the group were seated.

Arriving in Glenwood Springs in the late afternoon, we hiked over to the (1880s) historic Hotel Colorado for our overnight stay. We all enjoyed dinner at the hotel restaurant followed by a walk over to the hot springs; then closing the evening sitting around a fire pit and chatting about the next day’s activities.

The 2nd day of the adventure found all of us meeting for breakfast at the nearby Village Inn; then off to a dip in the hot springs. Along with some of the other folks, I found myself on a gondola riding up to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park where we ventured on a very interesting and informational cave tour stepping down 120 feet below the surface. Afterwards, we walk around taking in the beautiful mountain scenery. Soon, we on our way back to the hotel to pick up our luggage; then headed to the Glenwood Springs train station for the trip back to Denver Union Station.

On the return trip, there was plenty conversation about the fun everyone had in Glenwood Springs. Plenty of photos would serve as visual memories of all aspects of the trip. There was more scenery to take in before nighttime set in. Some of the group made dinner reservations in the dining car. Others had purchased a meal prior to boarding the train. The ride back was equally enjoyable as was the ride there.

Upon arriving at Union Station, we were met by shuttles for the trip back to the Fort Lupton Senior Center. Good byes were shared. Folks went their separate ways. A fun and memorable adventure had come to an end. For me, another California Zepher train trip is in the planning. A fantastic way to travel is by train. All Aboard!

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