November 15, 2008

Vol. 11 — The California Zephyr @ Truckee, CA

This is a neat looking little town, though all neat looking little towns make me think they’re carefully constructed but inauthentic neat looking little towns.

Lake Tahoe is away somewhere to the south of us and we passed a good looking ski area a few minutes ago. I’ve always wanted to make a skiers tour of northern California, so I guess, be it authentic or otherwise, there's some chance I will someday leave the train here, rather than observe through the glass.

This countryside is if anything even more beautiful than that which preceded the Rockies, with more trees, higher apparent elevations and longer vistas. We have been passing through a series of snow sheds — artificial tunnels made out of concrete in places where the snowfall would otherwise threaten the track — around the peaks that look down on Donner Lake, named for the now infamous Donner Party, some of which chose this area to try and live out the winter before continuing on to lowland California.