(This is hardly the best photo of the Southwest Chief, but it did its job well, as I deboarded and headed out into the station.)
Most of the yesterday was spent going through the desert, mainly New Mexico and then later in the day and through the night across Colorado. It's not the most colorful part of the journey, but the rocks and foothills are wonderful to watch as you pass by.
I didn't find it as interesting as the previous design, although what makes the observation so nice is the wide expanse of all the windows when you look around, and the sense of the sky above.
I was also looking forward to it at night, which most people don't think of with the observation car. But the last time I recall entering the totally dark car that was largely empty, and you barely can see the desert around you -- but because you're nowhere near any towns, the sky is overwhelmed with stars that almost seemed to brighten the area. Unfortunately, this time they had some dim lights on throughout the car which mucked up the effect. Perhaps if I went later (this was around 8:30) the car would have been darkened and it would have been as wonderful.
And what the heck, I might as well round things out and include that finishing train trip. I've always loved these suburban commuter trains because they're double-deck. They've been that way since I was a kid, and most of the time I love to sit above and get a better view of the ride. They felt very magical back then when they introduced them, and they still do all those years later.
And with that, we'll leave the trains for the time being.