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Your proposed train trip sounds delightful.


I really hope it works out--aside from the fact that I could use a vacation--it is nice having something diverting like this to look forward to!


Sounds lovely, including the train. And you absolutely must read Isabella Bird -- amazing stuff.


Colorado again. I still have your card on my shelf. It would be great to travel by train. At least I did a lot of train traveling through Europe and Always loved it. I'm so happy for you.


Train travel is wonderful! We took the train from LA to SF a year ago and it was so nice; right beside the ocean, excellent meals, a comfortable compartment and we met some very interesting people, too. We enjoyed it so much that we are considering taking the train from Chicago to the west coast. Your book suggestions sound good, glad to know there is another Kate Morton to look forward to.


Woo, Danielle! This sounds wonderful! My dad's long-held travel plan, one he'll never do now, was to cross the Rockies by train. It does sound such a civilized way to travel. I'll have to think if I know any books set in that area!


Oh, I'd love to go on a long train trip, except the trains are so expensive now. Colorado books? CENTENNIAL by James Michener, of course!


Lucky you! I look forward to hearing about your discoveries!


I read a quite interesting nonfiction book about Colorado
Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden.


Oh, you are going to enjoy Glenwood Springs and will get an exceptionally interesting point of view from the train. We spent a day there on a family vacation when our girls were young and they still talk about it, Danielle.


Oh, how fun! Both the trip and the contemplation of "westward" books. I recommend A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains--the only Isabella Bird book I've read, but it seems fitting here.


So do you think the trip will really happen? Woohoo! You hadn't mentioned you'd go by train. That is so cool! I used to travel between Los Angeles and San Diego by train and that was fun but it was only 2 hours. I've always wanted to actually take a longer ride and get a sleeper room. Have fun planning!


I bought this little Penguin Journeys not too long ago--before I knew I might be going--I guess I was subconsciously hoping all along! ;)


The nice thing about Colorado is it is relatively close and I don't have to fly and/or pay for a plane ticket. I would love to travel there by train--more than one person has told me how beautiful the ride there would be--particularly once we are in CO. I have never ridden a train in the US, but I did when I was living in Austria. I can't remember--when you were in the US did you get to the Midwest? I have lots of research to do--hopefully over my long weekend.


I am not terribly fond of flying anymore, but a train ride--even a longish one like this sounds like such a fun time--space to move around and a dining car--and lots of beautiful scenery outside the window! How lovely to be able to take the train up the coast--I would love that--maybe someday! If you go from Chicago to the West coast I wonder if you would also take the Zephyr and then would travel through Nebraska! I am quite tempted to pick up something I have by Kate Morton right now and begin reading--I haven't picked up any of her later books but I think I must own almost all of them.


I hope it works out--there is still lots of time to plan, but hopefully I will get to think about it over the long weekend and do a little research. My sister is all for it, but we are trying to talk our mom into going as well. If I go I will soak in the views for your dad! :) If you come up with any titles, do let me know. I wanted to read Isabella Bird in any case--surely there must be a mystery set there? Sandra Dallas lives in Denver and a few of her novels are set in CO, but I wouldn't mind coming up with a few other reading possibilities.


Do you know I bought Centennial on your suggestion last summer but it is a chunky book and I couldn't manage to read it before going. Now I must go dig it out--I wonder where I put it???? The train goes through Omaha at 11:00pm so I would spend part of the night without being able to see much out of the window, but surely the sun would be up by the time we got to the western edge of the state and into CO. All those hours to fill with reading! :)


Alas, it is not so far away as Boston but I am excited about it anyway. Fingers crossed it works out--I need something nice like this to look forward to!


My library has that--I think I looked at it last year when I went to Estes Park, but I wasn't able to read it first. Maybe this year it will work out--it sounds like a good companion read with Isabella Bird!


How exciting--I love to hear that! I am told the scenery is stunning and that stretch of landscape is really something to see from the train. I would love to go to Estes again, but it would be good, too, to see another part of the state. I think CO is such a lovely place--I could happily live there.


I think reading Isabella Bird is going to be a requirement for me this year! She seems like such an intrepid, independent woman traveller--the little Penguin Journeys book I have it made up of letters!


My sister is a definite--we just need to make set plans. Hopefully we can talk our mom into going, too--I am sure she would like it, but I know travel is hard on her these days. Still-much better than flying I think. What fun to have traveled between LA and San Diego by train--were you close enough to the coast to see the Pacific?! I think we almost could get a sleeper, but it would be much cheaper to just get reserved seats--we wil have to investigate. The train goes through Omaha at 11pm-ish and we would arrive around 1pm the next afternoon. I was a little disappointed that we would travel at night, but it will only be Nebraska--and we could sleep a few hours before the sun comes up and we can watch the countryside--what a nice thought! :)


Oh yes, the train between LA and San Diego runs right along the coastline for most of the way. It's a nice trip and much better than sitting in traffic on the freeway!


No, I have never been to the Midwest.
I visited all coastal states from New York to Florida at that time.


I would love to travel up and down the coast--both coasts actually. I did get to Charleston, South Carolina and loved it there--maybe you visited as well? By the way--a card just went out in todays mail to you! :)



Danielle, you're going to have a lot of fun on this trip. The California Zephyr is my favorite Amtrak ride. Last year, when I loved from Boston to California, I asked my (bemused) new employer if I could spend my relocation allowance on a one-way train journey. They said yes, so my wife and I took the Lakeshore Limited from Boston to Chicago and then the California Zephyr to Emeryville.

There was still snow on the Continental Divide, which you encounter just after Denver. The scenery, as you have correctly heard, is absolutely gorgeous. Just stay in the viewing car for about 4-5 hours after you leave Denver, and you will not regret it.

If you book ahead of time, you might be able to get a roomette at a not-too-ridiculous price. If you factor in the cost of meals which are free with the roomette, it may turn out to be quite affordable.

An interesting aspect of the journey was the community seating. Every day, for breakfast,lunch and dinner, we met a different set of people and had lovely conversations.


Whoops: "When I loved from Boston to California" should be "When I moved from Boston to California" :-) .

Jennifer Dee

If you like Sandra Dallas you must read 'Tallgrass' and also 'The Diary of Mattie Spenser' both brilliant. I am always interested in books set in Colorado; my interest comes comes from a love of music by John Denver . A little off kilter I know.


Thanks for the suggestions! Last year I read Fallen Women and liked it very much--would love it if she ever revisited those characters. I read Mattie Spenser years ago but I think I could happily reread it now. I am thinking Tallgrass is a good possibility this year. Isn't it funny how we sometimes very circuitously fall in love with certain things or places? I knew a lady who loved John Denver--and she named her dog Denver--it was not meant in any way jokingly--she just admired him. I love CO and want to read more books set there.


That sounds like great fun and quite an undertaking--so glad you were able to do it! I have googled images of the Zephyr and it looks like it could be a nice little trip. I am convinced I will like it and am ready to make my reservations and just need now to get my sister and mom motivated to come along! It's such a cool way to see the countryside--I wish there were more opportunities like this to take trains!


Gotcha! So nice to hear from you again Polaris, by the way!


This does sound like a delightful plan. You know, it's weird but in Europe it's cheaper to fly than take a train.


I am making plans but my sister is not being very helpful in replying to my emails....I may have to just go by myself--I could do it if I went by train as Glenwood is very small and walkable and the train station there is right in their downtown. It is actually probably cheaper to fly most places here in the US, too, but Glenwood is a direct destination from Omaha. Most people do not take the trains here--I am surprised, however, that it is cheaper in Europe to fly--I just assumed trains were pretty economical--maybe it depends too on distance?

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