Special Post: Our Rocky Mountaineer Adventure – Part  1 – 8th May


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.  

Ready to Board

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. 

Our journey has begun!! 

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! 😂

The lovely and hilarious Janet!

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. 

Rae the Chef

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!

Zach – the train manager

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.

Sand in the lounge

Si with the Margaritas

Our resident photographer in action!

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!

Menu Day 1














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 Utah mooners – not that you can see much!

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. 

Glenwood Springs

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!!

Special Post: Our Rocky Mountaineer Adventure – Part 2 – 9th May

The Rocky Mountaineer arrives at Glenwood Springs station for the second day of our trip from Moab to Denver.

Entrance to Glenwood Springs station

The flags on the train had been changed to the US and Colorado ones. The red carpet was once again rolled out and the staff waved us on our way.

As we had arrived before anyone else we were able to have our photographs taken on the train steps without anyone else around.

All ready to board for day 2

Our second day on the Rocky Mountaineer started later than anticipated due to maintenance work on the tracks. This means we had lunch and dinner on the train instead of breakfast and lunch.

We had left our cases in the hotel room and would be reunited with them once we arrived in Denver.

I was talking to a very nice lady on the platform called Tracey who works for Rocky Mountaineer and was telling her about our delayed adventure from 2021 and amazingly she knew who I was! When I mentioned our Golden Wedding Anniversary she said “Oh, it’s you!” She had seen our name on the passenger list and how our trip had been cancelled and then rolled over twice.

We left Glenwood Springs through Glenwood Canyon.

Zach came to tell us about the route for the day and said we would reach a maximum of 9200 feet above sea level and after the Moffat Tunnel which is 6.2 miles (10km) long and cuts deep through the Continental Divide and would take approximately 15 minutes to travel through, we would then pass through 28 tunnels covering 17 miles! The tunnels were built in 1906 and cost $490 million!

The Rocky Mountaineer travels higher than any other train in the U.S. and even higher than some planes do.

We had to stop just once on the journey and that was to let an oil train pass by but we didn’t have to wait too long.

The oil train

We had two lovely surprises while on the train. 

On day one, we were were given the opportunity to order Rocky Mountaineer merchandise and those who know me well know that this is not an opportunity I was likely to miss.

There was one item in particular I wanted and that was the most beautiful hand-painted Christmas tree ornament but sadly, this was the one item that had to be ordered and posted to the buyer and it is not currently possible for it to be posted outside the U.S. Well, to say I was very disappointed is an understatement.

When we joined the train next morning, Sandy and Alice, two lovely ladies we met yesterday and had great fun with, told us they had heard us talking and could tell how disappointed I was about the ornament and so had ordered one for us and would post it to us once it was received!

Well, as you can imagine, we were absolutely stunned. In addition, they refused to accept payment for the ornament or the postage.

Many thanks once again Sandy and Alice for your kindness.

People’s kindnesses never cease to amaze me!

The second surprise was when mimosas were served and everyone in our carriage toasted our 52nd wedding anniversary. Janet said she was so pleased we had eventually been able to make the trip. 🥂

If you’ve read Part 1 of our adventure you will remember that we collected our luggage labels from Deb in Moab. When we arrived to board the coach to take us to the train, we were told that she had left a card for us on the train. That was waiting for us when we boarded at Glenwood Springs and what she said in the card regarding our anniversary and the illness made us have a little cry. She was so kind. 

Deb’s card

Once aboard brunch was served and later on, dinner. By this time I was so full I declined dinner and just had dessert. There’s only so much a girl can eat over two days. Si of course, managed to eat everything! 😂

Day 2 Menu

Forgot to take a photo of the salad!










Janet told us we would see some more ‘mooners’ so she had prepared some score cards so that we could all mark them out of 10 as we passed by! 😂

Si with his score card

Si in the vestibule

Once again, we saw some wonderful scenery, some of the canyon walls were 1300 feet tall and we even saw the lava from an old volcano.

The Rocky Mountaineer

When we reached Denver, everyone received an exclusive RTR (Red Rocks to the Rockies) pin to wear. These are only given to people who have travelled on the train. Everyone also received chocolate and a lovely card thanking them for travelling on the train but we received a special one for our Anniversary that said ‘Happy Anniversary! Thank you for celebrating on board Rocky Mountaineer’. Janet, Rae and Cheryl had all signed it. 

Red Rocks to Rockies

The Card

Inside the card

It’s the little things!

One thing that surprised as we approached Denver was how much graffiti there was. 

A coach was waiting to take us to Denver Union Station to collect our luggage and we were then off to the Grand Hyatt for the night before leaving next day for the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. 

We send a big ‘thank you’ to all the Rocky Mountaineer staff and all our fellow passengers for making this trip so memorable. It was the most wonderful way of celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary, albeit, two years late!!