California Cruizin'

Discovering the Hidden Jewels Throughout America's Golden State

Southwest Chief

Travel Sonata in C-Major

Have you ever thought of exploring America’s western frontiers on railroad tracks? If the travel bug bites, why not ride the Southwest Chief from America’s Heartland to the Pacific Coast? 2,256 miles of spectacular scenery. That’s what one of my nephews did not long ago. Out of Chicago’s Union Station, riding across the wide-open plains of Kansas, under Colorado’s open skies, and down into New Mexico’s red painted desert, he finally hopped off the train in Lamy 24 hours later. Named after Jean-Baptiste Lamy, who became Santa Fe’s first Archbishop in 1853, the unassuming train stop in the middle of nowhere is just 18 miles south of Santa Fe off highway 285. IMG_8698Arriving in the muddy parking area steps from the tracks, I look around. Remains from recent rain showers are still dripping off the red-tiled train station, its sun-faded yellow paint having seen better days.

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Stepping into the terminal…

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