We left this morning at about 930 AM. There are a number of stops before we would get to the Sierra foothills and then the mountains. Most are small stops. Sacramento takes some hours to reach and is a larger stop. From there, the train takes a route to old gold rush towns through the foothills and up to Truckee California. Prior to reaching Truckee we reach what the conductor called the apex of the Sierra route. The county is simply beautiful all the way but we did run into increasing smoke in the air from the fires. A lot of this was seen after Truckee and then down the eastern side of the Sierra.
The tunnels through the Sierra are amazing. I loved this report on the geography and tunnels. The Big Hole is a massive tunnel reaching 2 miles long. Amazing!
Finally the train drops down and approaches the outskirts of Reno. The land gentles and bigger valleys emerge and then the Truckee River runs. So beautiful is this river! It runs alongside the train tracks for quite some distance.
If you go this route and have a choice what side to sit on, I would try to get both sides in the Observation car. You want to see Cape Horn and then on the other side you want to see the river as it rushes its pace through the mountains. White water dashes the rocks and the current seems crazy sometimes.
The other wonderful things are the old train stations along the way. One can see historic parks throughout the ride.
when I decided to do this
I could not ever remember riding the Amtrak on this route. I've driven the route from Sacramento many times. I have to say with some sadness that Reno has suffered with covid dramatically. I was saddened to see so much of the city looking so different.
I remember a long time ago this stretch of the road was exciting and the lights of the Row would invite you in for drinks and gambling and food. Now so many of the Row places are shut down or closed. It is really sad to see. There are nicer parts of town like parks and a riverwalk by the Truckee River.
I came here with no preconceived notions or desires besides to just see Reno now as the first part of my train journeys. Tomorrow I will do what I do. Go for a nice walk, take some pictures, and relax as well in my hotel room. I'll be updating the blog tomorrow with some more information on what I see, food I eat, stuff I do.
There is one thing which got me when I opened the curtains in my room on the 8th floor.
Well, yeah! I thought it was so unusual looking and unique right outside my hotel room.