Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Wilkins Update, Part 2-Trip to Denver

David writes......

It has been a fairly busy start to 2015 for me. The business began back in December, when I was rushing to complete projects in time to leave for two weeks for the Christmas holiday. Katy and I returned to Salt Lake City on January 2, after an epic 4,000 mile drive across America, all the way to Kentucky and back.

I returned to the office on Saturday the 3rd to find a giant pile of stuff on my desk. To top it off, I had a trial in the United States District Court for Utah scheduled on the 12th, so I spent the first week back getting ready. The trial took all week, and then I had to turn around and travel to Denver to appear before the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on the 21st. I decided that the best way to isolate myself the day before the appearance in Denver, giving me time to prepare without interruption was to take the train, so I booked my outbound passage on Amtrak train #6, the California Zephyr.

Randall has taken the CZ to Denver a few times. Lucky for him, since he boards in Naperville, near the train's eastern terminus, he can board at a decent time.  Here in Salt Lake City, the eastbound CZ is due in at 3:05 am. The night before, I went to bed early and got about 4 hours of sleep before the alarm awoke me at 2:00 am. After a quick drive downtown, I found myself waiting on the platform to board.

Due to a winter fare sale, I was able to book a roomette, which had the bed already made for me when I boarded. I changed back into my pajamas and was sound asleep by the time the train hit Provo. I woke up after the train crested Soldier Summit, as my ears hadn't popped yet. I took some decongestant and was back to sleep, only to wake up in Southern Utah.

I woke again as the train traveled through Ruby Canyon on the Utah-Colorado boarder. After a lake breakfast, I had my bed made up and went to work.  In addition to rereading my appellate brief, I kept out the Amtrak timetable, the Altamont Press timetable for the line and my trusty Elgin B.W. Raymond pocket watch to keep track of progress. 

The CZ makes several stops long enough to get out and stretch your legs. Here are photos from the stops at Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs and Winter Park. Just outside Glenwood Springs at Dotsero, we met the westbound CZ, train #5. We are parked on the leg of the wye that would take us down the now out-of-service D&RGW Tennessee Pass line. After backing up the wye, we headed up to Osterod (Dotsero spelled backwards) where we joined the former Denver & Salt Lake for the trip into Denver. The Moffat Tunnel cut about 170 miles off of the trip from Salt Lake City to Denver.

After Winter Park, we traveled through the Moffat Tunnel, exiting in a flurry of snow.  Traveling down the series of 10 degree curves, called the Big 10, we arrived at the newly-renovated Denver Union Station on time. It was a short walk to my hotel for a good night's sleep. The next morning, it was an even shorter walk to the Byron White U.S. Courthouse. I finished up my court appearance early, and had time to visit the Forney Museum, which will be covered in another post.

No comments: