We rode Amtrak’s passenger train, the California Zephyr, from Emeryville to Reno– an almost 7-hour trip through the backsides of towns– climbed the Sierra Nevada Mtns thousands of feet, captivated by the eccentric landscape cobbled together with other-worldly-looking boulders and rocks. The trip that never bored me was topped off with close-up views of the eastward flowing (one of the few in the West) Truckee River–a good companion during the last leg of the train ride.
At Sacramento we were joined by two members (Jack & Gene) of the railroad museum– docents, who provided passengers with a colorful narration of construction of the Central Pacific Railroad by the Big Four (Stanford, Huntington, Crocker & Hopkins).
When I said the train passed through the “backsides” of towns (east of Emeryville), I mean there were fascinating scenes with abandoned broken cars, really good graffitti, litter and garbage, some of it artfully arranged and examples of dead industry.
ONE COMPLAINT: The food should be catered by Jeremiah Tower (former owner of Stars in San Francisco or Alice Waters)….This is California and there are plenty of great chefs. Why not have one on the Amtrak route between Emeryville and Reno?
…More later…Downtown Reno is changing quickly from the honky tonk town you may have known it as….