American rail holiday – 5

17 June 2013

We’re touring the Rocky Mountain national park today. Saw elk and some moose. Great scenery. Mountains with snow still there. Altitudes of nearly 12000 ft. The air is very thin and makes you feel short of breath.
We say goodbye to scenery like this and are heading for Denver to catch the train to Chicago. We will spend 20 hours on the train, 3 meals and over night sleep (we hope).
The evening meal was ok with half a bottle of wine each and by 10.30 we had gone to bed.

18 June 2013

We awoke reasonably refreshed and had breakfast. Good shower etc. the bedroom bunks almost fill the compartment, so you have to leave the door open and close curtains to be able to change and move. Bottom bunk is wider and the top not unlike a coffin or a slave transport ship with no windows. Of course, guess who had the bottom bunk?
The scenery through Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois is gentle undulating hills broken with trees and shrubs. Not that different to the vale of York or Lincolnshire. The train constantly sounds its horn to warn of its arrival at any road. Ear plugs were essential for sleeping. Time goes quite fast. We had breakfast at 9.30 and finished about 10.30. Final calls for lunch were at 11.30. We didn’t have time to digest the first so we missed lunch, Nick, the rep, isn’t happy and is filling in his report as I type.
Got off for 5 minutes at Galesburg, Illinois. Sunny warm day, great steam engine on a siding. Probably wont ever come here again so took a picture.
We arrive downtown Chicago, union station. Very exciting.
Transfer to the mile north hotel. Fabulous room and bathroom. Copper walls and a huge shower wet room. Had a deep pan pizza at Giodano’s it took one hour to cook and was like a pizza pie. We only managed to eat half as it was 3cm thick!
The beds were lovely.

19 June 2013

A free day today as we decided not to do the river trip (we did it 10 years ago). Went to navy pier via park front and reminisced of times past, it was a beautiful day around 75 degrees. Had a lunch and walked to millenium park which was finished interestingly enough in 2004.
We then walked to the hancock tower and back to the hotel to catch the bus to take us to catch the train to buffalo. Wine and cheese party on board the train, then to bed. Better sleeper than last train although a little bumpy! Ahhhhh maybe no sleep having had to put the clock forward one hour again.

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