Followers of our blog will know that our Rocky Mountaineer Adventure has been about four years in the making.
We originally booked the Canadian route as part of our Golden Wedding Anniversary adventure back in 2021 but that had to be cancelled due to dear old Covid and was rolled over into 2022. Then in 2022, due to illness, it had to be rolled over again into 2023.
So, here we are at last, about to start our much anticipated adventure. 👏
Day 1 – Moab to Glenwood Springs.
As you know from a previous post, we had already received our boarding passes and luggage tags from a lovely lady called Deb. We talked about why our trip had been moved twice before and when we arrived to board the coach that would take us to the train, we were told that Deb had left a card for us that we would receive when we were on board.
It was a short drive to the siding where the mighty beast awaited us.
The red carpets had been laid out and the U.S. and Utah flags waved merrily in the sunshine. The inevitable photographs were taken before boarding the train and we were on our way. As we pulled away rail staff were lined up waving flags to see us off.
We were told there were only 30 people on the train that consists of 12 carriages! We had 19 in our carriage, Silverleaf Plus, that I think held about 50 so there was plenty of room for everyone and we could swop seats according to which side of the train the interesting views were on. The remainder were in the Silverleaf carriage. The advantage with Silver Plus is that you have access to the lounge carriage where you are able to sit and enjoy the views whilst imbibing plenty of alcohol or soft drinks as required.
During the high season of July/August all the carriages are usually packed. Even if the carriage had been full it would have still been a comfortable ride as the seats are large and comfortable with plenty of legroom, head rests that can be moved down and used as a lumber support and even a leg rest. The dome windows are huge making the whole carriage very light and bright. Between carriages there are open-air vestibules so passengers can stand there to admire the views and take photographs.
We were so fortunate with the attendants looking after us. First mention goes to Janet, she was ‘in charge’ of our carriage and was hilarious. She kept us well informed of where we were and the history of each place as we went along. At one point she even dressed up as a sheriff and told us a story that included gunshots and for those she used bubble wrap. It was hilarious! 😂
Then there was Rae, our chef. In a small galley she prepared the most amazing meals. Cheryl prepared drinks in the lounge as well as served us in our seats. Cheryl is an amazing lady as she works on board the train, is a chef who works in Tuscany in Italy for three months a year, cooking privately, and then she travels to Florida where she has a gardening business!!!! Finally there was Theresa who also served us in our carriage.
The train manager was a young man called Zach, he looked very young to hold such a position. He was a lovely young man and kept us updated during the journey if there were any hold ups and what to expect when we reached Glenwood Springs and Denver. Another point in his favour is that he drives a Tesla too!
Karl, the third engineer/conductor came along to answer any questions we had about the mechanics of the train and told us what a wonderful company it is to work for. Their top priority is always the safety of their passengers and staff. The staff get two tickets every year to travel on the train.
The train speed started off at about 25 miles an hour and as we were travelling along old spiked rails there was the familiar clickety clack as the train wheels passed over but once we reached the new continuous welded rails we were able to speed up and there was no noise. The maximum speed of the train is 65 mph. Also, the train for the Glenwood Springs to Denver leg held 6400 gallons of diesel.
Everyone in our carriage clicked immediately and it wasn’t long before we were all in the lounge enjoying a beverage or two and all laughing together swopping names and stories!! 🍸🥃🍷Si and I were enjoying margaritas. In our carriage they played soft classical music but in the lounge it was middle of the road pop.
Everyone agreed that once aboard it was like a different world and all felt very relaxed. We could tell this was going to be a trip to remember.
It wasn’t long before we were called back to our seats to enjoy our first meal. This is the menu for Day 1 of the trip. There was no limit to the amount of drinks, alcohol and non-alcohol we could have, we just had to ask!
We were following the Colorado River out of Moab and it wasn’t long before we saw people camping along the river. We soon became aware of a Utah tradition and that was mooners!! 😂 Yes, as the train rolls by they drop their trousers and show their bottoms to the train.
The scenery was breathtaking. Lots of waterfalls, different coloured cliffs, sheer cliffs and altogether magnificent views.
At the end of each carriage was an open air vestibule where passengers could stand and take in the scenery and take photographs.
We made one stop at Grand Junction because just like other forms of transport, the train drivers had come to the end of their allotted drive time and we needed to take on fresh drivers.
As the Rocky Mountaineer is classed as a sight-seeing train when it’s travelling on single track it has to give way to others trains such as Amtrak and freight. We were lucky that we only needed to stop once to let a Amtrak train through but the stop wasn’t very long.
Just before we arrived in Glenwood Springs we were given our hotel keys and once off the train we just walked across the road to the Hotel Denver where our cases were already waiting for us in our room.
It was the smoothest operation we had ever seen.
Although it felt as if we had not done much during the day everyone felt exhausted and the majority went straight to their rooms although a couple went to enjoy the hot springs.
Everyone agreed that it had been a most wonderful day!
Part 2 of our Rocky Mountaineer adventure to follow!!