So the first thing I have to say is, holy cow (no pun intended, given that we are now fully in cattle territory) but this is a crazy-beautiful way to see the country. Even with the somewhat overcast day, the train ride through the Rockies (at some points literally [see Moffat Tunnel]) is spectacular. Although I’m posting this from my phone and therefore don’t have access to the majority of (better) pictures I took, I do have one or two that I can share here:

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The coolest part of this is that, for a lot of the route, it’s clear that there’s no other way to see these areas — there’s train track, mountain on one side, and canyon/river on the other. That’s pretty much it. There aren’t any roads for a major stretch, and although I’m sure there are climbers who have ventured into the territory, there just aren’t many people in the world who have seen that part of the Rockies. And now we’re a part of that.

(O.k., yes, I realize there’s a little bit of ‘my car climbed mt. Washington’ in it, but still, it’s pretty neat to realize that we’ve now seen a part of the world that isn’t easy to see. I didn’t even mind the height or the drops so much because the view was so amazing. There was a moment when I realized that there were a lot of areas that had no trees or vegetation surrounding them, just rock. And that that rock was the result of avalanches, of which there was no guarantee we wouldn’t be experiencing one up close and personal. I just tried to think *really* hard–no avalanche, no avalanche, no avalanche. Thank goodness that when Will said, “hey! Cool! You think we’ll see an avalanche?” and Lucy answered, “I hope not, because then we’ll probably be dead,” that neither one seemed particularly concerned about it. I’m not sure I would have been of much use if they’d needed reassurance.)

Of course, the flipside of being in such a remote area (and having relied on a big honkin’ machine to get you into it rather than your own two feet) is that, when the train comes to a stop in an area with nary a road or a dwelling within sight and no cell reception to be had, and the conductor says something about just being told that we’d need to stop for an indefinite amount of time because of that dreaded ‘track work’ (which may or may not entail digging up and replacing track before we can proceed), well, it’s not the most confidence-inspiring. Thank goodness, our delay in that case was only about 30 minutes. Otherwise panic attacks may have ensued.

With that delay, we are now about 7 hours late (and counting, thanks to the flooding Missouri River, freight train cos. owning the tracks, and the inevitable track work) Grand Junction. But, you know? Having Lucy and Will be a part of this is pretty fantastic. (“Yes, I’m making you get off the train for the stop in Fraser, Colorado. Yes, just because I want you to breathe in the cool and refreshing air.”) [To which Will replied, “Not so refreshing when the train is polluting it.”]

So I will leave you with this picture of Lucy at the train station in Glenwood Springs, CO, only two hours (one hopes) from our destination for the evening.

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Good night, all!

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