Glenwood Springs, CO, by Train - January 2017

In January Joanne and I took an overnight train trip to Glenwood Springs in western Colorado. The reason for the trip was to go to the hot springs and enjoy the thermal waters especially in the evening as temperatures fall below freezing.

We began the trip in Fresno, California, at 0615 catching the first train out of town heading north to Sacramento. Because of the way the Central Valley trains run we had to transfer at Stockton to an Amtrak bus going to Sacramento. There was a scheduled 90-minute layover in Sacramento before catching the "California Zephyr" going to Chicago. When the train did not arrive on schedule I enquired at the ticket counter and was told it was still in Emeryville, CA, and was expected to be a about two hours late because of snow removal in the Sierra. We were each given $15 for lunch and told to be back by 1 pm. The train was further delayed five hours before finally departing at 4pm. Crossing the Sierra was painfully slow after reaching the snow line. The train would move forward very slowly and stop every 15-minutes to allow the crew to dismount and check the tracks and hillsides for debris. We arrived at Glenwood Springs nine hours late with three inches on the ground.

We spent four days in Glenwood Springs without a car enjoying the thermal waters in the evening and short hikes into Glenwood Canyon during the day. The trip was in conjunction with our 33rd wedding anniversary so we had a special meal at our favorite restaurant right on Glenwood's main street. I did not take my camera on this trip because I didn't want to deal with the bulky bag in the small sleeper compartment, and Joanne wanted me to leave the camera and kit behind since we did not have a car.

The return trip to California on the west bound "California Zephyr" went as scheduled and we arrived in Sacramento a few minutes early. We again had to bus down to Stockton to catch the "San Joaquins" train south, arriving on time to Fresno.

Because we had left our digital SLRs at home, this gallery is made up entirely of cell phone images. We both have Apple iPhone 6Ss which have decent cameras. The cell phone has many limitations, but by working through those limitations we came back with what I hope are some rather nice images. The big take away from using the cell phone is not to zoom the camera because the images fall apart rather quickly. Post processing is more troublesome -- you have to deal with polarized windows, dirt on the windows, and artifacts from a previous time (poles and lines). By being aware of compositions the problems associated with motion blur' do not negatively affect the image. Extracting stills from a video stream is a viable way of obtaining images.

We enjoyed this train trip and the sleepers were exciting and fun. Consider a sleeper if you have the time. Please enjoy our latest gallery and please let us know what you think.