I know it has been over a week since Bob and I came home from the monster conference RootsTech 2013. Family responsibilities and some catching up on duties around the house kept me from posting sooner.
So, here I am posting some images of our wonderful AMTRAK train trip from Naperville, Illinois to Salt Lake City and back. We decided to do this type of trip because the mountains had to be snow laden and we were expecting some beautiful scenery.
The trip was a little more expensive than we would have liked, but the trip was so relaxing and enjoyable it was hard to notice the expense. All meals were included in the price and we had our own toilet! The food on the train was very good, not at all "airplane" food.
A trip bonus was the people we met and talked to at our meals. They were interesting, friendly, and entertainingly informative on various subjects. All in all, we enjoyed the round trip, especially the mountains. I do have to admit, though, once we crossed the Mississippi River back into Illinois, we were anxious to depart the train. That last leg felt the longest.
|Making up our beds. Bob gets the top bunk!|
Slept through Nebraska...
woke up in Denver!
WINDING THROUGH THE ROCKIES WITH THE COLORADO RIVER
|Our train follows the Colorado River several hundred miles. |
In the higher elevations the river was under snow and ice.
|Looking back at the Rockies and the River running through it.|
|Oh, and then there were the tunnels, short and long! |
Stare at this image for 10 minutes...
that is how long it took before
we saw the end of the six-mile tunnel at
the Continental Divide.
|Our table is waiting.|
COMING OUT OF THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS
|We are now approaching the Ruby Canyon and |
we are still following the Colorado River.
|Getting to the end of the Ruby Canyon and |
soon we would be entering Utah.
|Colorado River flows away from us as |
our train turns towards Utah.
SALT LAKE CITY
|The evening of our first full day in SLC: scene outside our hotel window. |
You can see some of Temple Square
and the LDS's Conference Center below the Capitol building.
I spent one full day in the Family History Library which wasn't extremely busy on the Wednesday before RootTech 2013. I could have spent my whole four days there and scrap the conference, but I'm planning my annual trip to SLC in October. So, the next three days was spent at the conference with 6700+ people from all over the world. As I said before it was BIG! Next year will be even bigger and supposedly they will be going global with their sessions. Bob didn't attend the conference, but rather walked around the town visiting Sam Weller's bookstore, capitol building, and various restaurants and cafés.
|Thousands crammed the giant Hall 1 to |
hear the keynote speakers each morning.
|A special concert was given at the Tabernacle by |
the famous Choir just for RootsTech 2013 attendees.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THOM!
One evening we attended the 50th birthday party for Thom MacEntee, a Geneablogger, genealogist, webmaster, and a RootsTech 2013 presenter... There is more to his credits than I can list here so go visit <http://hidefgen.com> for a more complete biography, and general poking around the site.
Geneabloggers were invited to the party several months prior to the conference. There were about 85 bloggers attending. Among the attendees was Dear Myrtle and Dick Eastman. Snacks were wonderful and there was a cash bar. Music and dancing was a must for some of the more limber. I talked with a fellow blogger who is from Vancouver, B.C. She and I (as we found out) have the October Family History trip in common and our respective groups stay at the same small family owned hotel.
|Thom MacEntee and me. |
What a nice time celebrating this youngster's birthday.
|Meeting Dick Eastman another blogger and technology guru was |
just one of the highlights of the evening.
|On our way home. For miles we could see the snow clouds emptying.|
|We headed into the snow clouds. It wasn't really too bad. There was|
some snow falling, but no blizzard where we traveled.
It looked worse than it was.
|It was cold and snowy outside, but nice and warm in our little cabin |
as we headed for the mountains and home.
I would recommend AMTRAK to anyone, but train travel isn't for everyone. You really must have the time allotted from your busy life to take the trip. The trip was about 34 hours - one way. From Chicago, we left in the early afternoon; had dinner in Iowa as it was just barely getting dark. Bob and I watched a movie on my computer until it was time to get our bed set up. Sleeping? Well, it isn't home. By morning we were in Denver where we picked up a more powerful engine for the climb into the mountains. A beautiful all-day trip through the Rockies then eating dinner just into Utah. We didn't sleep on the train that second night because we pulled into Salt Lake City station about 40 minutes early or 10:20 p.m. MT.