I am very enthusiastic about riding trains. Not the ones with which people commute to work. I am in awe of the long hauls. I have already ticked off the box of riding trains in Russia, Kazakhstan, India, New Zealand, and China. In the U.S., I have crossed the country four times by Amtrak already. Now, with being back in the U.S. for some time and wanting to catch up with friends in Portland and in Idaho, it is the perfect opportunity to close a little gap of the “Empire Builder” route in the Northwest (between Portland and Sandpoint, ID) and to eventually ride on an Amtrak train in winter.
The train routes in the US have names. Train travelling is something I love to do! However, the train network in the US is old, needs a lot of maintenance, is unreliable …. but you get to see the country, you get to meet the people and it is a fantastic way to truly experience the size and vastness of the US.
Season’s changing! Probably one of the best times to visit Shenandoah National Park is fall. The air is crisp, the humidity that usually lies sticky and heavy on your skin is mostly gone, and the leaves change their color.
It doesn’t take long to leave the metropolitan corridor that connects Washington DC and New York City. These roughly 250 miles are full of highways, interstates, interconnecting routes, and you never really know where a city ends, and a new one begins.
I drag my trolley case through downtown Chicago. It feels good to walk after spending the last couple of hours on the plane that brought me from Baltimore to Illinois. The sky is incredibly blue, the air fresh, and on this early Sunday morning, you could almost smell fall approaching. I was on my way to Union Station, where my train would leave in a few hours. Westbound again.
Utah offers some of the most stunning landscapes I have ever seen. These landscapes are also protected and made accessible to visitors in five national parks. We visited three of them on our trip.
Well, there was this funny slip of speech I made a couple of times while hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail: I managed to mash together “South Lake Tahoe” and, for whatever reason, “Salt Lake City”. So I came up with something like “Salt Lake Tahoe” and it became that running gag between John and me. However, after having finished the trail, we got back to Reno and got a rental car.
I am a bit late with catching up … but – even though I have left the States for now – I would like to share our trip out west. After we drove from Las Vegas through Death Valley National Park, we stayed in Ridgecrest for one night. Ridgecrest was one of the trail towns I stayed at when I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2017.
The United States offer some epic landscapes and what better way is there to explore them than by going on an epic road trip? As we had a couple of days to spend before attending a friends’ wedding, we decided to get a rental car in Las Vegas and drive to Wrightwood not by taking the shortest, but the probably most scenic way!
Las Vegas – it is one of those places that fascinate me: It is somehow ugly and tacky and it offers in general ridiculously too much of everything, but it is also entertaining by offering good dining and a lot of distraction – both, in its many bars, shows and outside the city limits with man-made sights and natural wonders.