Saturday, September 29, 2018

California Zepher Day 1 - Roseville to Reno

All meals are provided free to sleeping car passengers and my mussels were better than those I had for lunch the day before.

Reno is in Nevada and the border between Nevada and California splits Lake Tahoe.

Fairly soon after lunch hills started to appear.

Colfax which is named after a former Vice President of the USA who visited the town.

Interesting house.


The Zepher is much much shorter than freight trains so not too long a wait. We did not see many freight trains at all.

Now we were getting much higher and into gold country. You can read more about it here.

A very deep valley.

All fir trees now. 

Notice that the train is only doing 30 mph and the altitude is 5364'.

Fewer trees.

A touch of aspen gold. At this height it's probably quite cold at night.

I-80 in the valley.

Ahead is the infamous Donner Pass where settlers moving west were trapped by snow for most of a winter in 1846. To survive they resorted to cannibalism.

Occasionally some sort of house or cabin appears.

Some sort of ski resort.

More aspen trees.

Donner Lake. 

The train goes around some very sharp bends and of course, some tunnels.

The two engines at the front of the train. Often trains have two engines so that if one breaks down the train can continue and not hold up other trains.

Truckee. The town usually gets over 200 inches of snow each year which is a significant amount to shovel.

Interesting house on the hill.

The price of petrol here in Maryland is about $2.67. California charges a lot of tax and no doubt the 'wounded bull' principle is in operation in this town.

The Truckee River drains Lake Tahoe.

An example of why I was so pleased to have a window on the left side of the train facing forward. For a short while the train was heading west and the glare of the sun made photography difficult.

It's amazing how water makes the desert habitable.

We arrived at Reno in Nevada.

At one time, the train tracks went down the main street but were subsequently lowered into this dismal channel.

Really attractive. Just makes you want to hang out there and take in the scenery.

Old waiting room.

Of course, the main industry is gambling and at one time, Reno was the gambling capitol of the USA. It was also where you could go to get a quick divorce.

Like Las Vegas, I hope I never have to go there again. 

The train continued east.

We selected 6:45 pm as our dining time and I had the steak and crabcake. The latter was only ok but the steak was actually pretty good. By chance we were seated with the same Englishman and his son that we had met at lunch. The sun went down about the same time we headed off for dinner.

It was a very enjoyable day.