What could possibly compel a person to take a train from Washington D.C. to San Diego, California? The #RomanceoftheRails of course! (It's a thing). I really wanted to share a quick rundown of our recent vacation and (more importantly) some of my favorite photos of the beautiful scenery, flora and fauna we saw along the way...
We started from D.C. to Chicago on the Capitol Limited train which winds it's way through the Appalachians following the Potomac River through Maryland. This is not a picture of the mountains but a bunch of new railroad ties stacked up. I just loved how it looked.
We spent our first night on the train, and then woke up rolling along the shores of Lake Eerie somewhere in Ohio before arriving in Chicago.
Unfortunately Chicago was very cloudy so we didn't take too many pictures there. Later in the day we caught our next train, the Southwest Chief, and crossed the mighty Mississippi River.
To get through the Rocky Mountains, the train climbed through the Raton Pass in New Mexico, an original part of the Sante Fe trail. Super historic if you're in to stuff like that (like ME).
The prairie and the desert were both so surprisingly beautiful. At one point a herd of deer/antelope were running full speed next to the train. We sang Home on the Range, it was amazing.
We stayed for three days in Flagstaff, Arizona and took a day trip up to the Grand Canyon. This was absolutely a highlight of the trip. No picture can do it justice because it's really an amazing feeling to be standing on the edge looking out.
We also drove down to Sedona and hiked Boynton Canyon. It was about 6 mi. round trip. The rocks were unreal. No wonder people think they have magic vortex powers.
There were tons of these agaves all around. I loved the light green color against the bright red/orange rocks.
We hopped our last overnight train to San Diego where we spent another couple of days. We took the Surfliner train from L.A. to San Diego which glides right along the Pacific Ocean. While in San Diego we went out to Coronado Beach to soak it all in (California that is).
I also realized my childhood dream of visiting the San Diego Zoo. I took a ton of pics there so I will probably at some point do a whole post about that, but I loved this big sloth who was feeling surprisingly spunky when we passed by.
All in all, it seems cliche' but this was an awesome way to see the country. Even the factories and farms through the Midwest were beautiful and fascinating to see. Riding along, staring out the window for hours, getting a real sense of the size of the U.S., and watching the landscape melt from hills to mountains to GREAT lakes to the rust belt and the bread basket and the prairies and the desert and the mountains and the canyons and the ocean and 12 total states (and D.C.)... there is just no other way to describe the experience except INSPIRING!