Grand Junctionand on home
I spent some time walking around down town Grand Junction and I must say that is a very delightful town. Main Street is almost a walking mall with lots of shops and restaurants to look into. And there are also a lot of sculptures out on the street that I found very interesting.
There were many more than this and they are found in the oddest places around town. Most are life size.
Green River, Helper, UT, Provo, UT, Salt Lake City
On a drizzly afternoon I jumped back on the West bound California Zephyr running about 1-1/2 late which is just about on time for Amtrak. The rain stopped and the scenery
got really good as we went into the Ruby Canyon and followed the Colorado River. There were lots of rafters camped out along the river and they all seemed to delight in mooning the train as it goes by. Kids!
We passed through Cisco, Utah. With its population of 4 it is almost a ghost town having at one time had a population of 2,000. These souls were part of the last metals rush
in the US as they hunted for uranium in the late forties. The present day residents use the buildings as fire wood and are slowly burning the entire town up in their fireplaces.
We also passed through Thompson Utah which is famous for being where many of the scenes from “Thelma and Louise’ were shot. It used to also be a thriving
town in the day of the coal powered locomotive since there is a source of coal nearby. Today it is relegated to being a flag stop.
Factoid: A flags stop or whistle stop is a place where the train will only stop if someone wants to get off or get on. Otherwise the train throttles right on through.
We continued on to Woodside where we ran into the remains of a flash flood. The train had to slow way down while a signal car ahead of us checked the track. But the good news is that we got to see the cold water geyser at Thompson and it was in fine form. The railroad drilled a well there back in the days of steam engines and hit a pocket of CO2 charged water. It pits up at will all these years later. It is not pressured by hot water as most geysers are. There are supposedly only five cold water geysers in the world.
Next we stopped at Helper where extra locomotives were once added to the train in order to help them get over the mountains. It also was once the hide out of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They would spend their ill gotten gains around town in order to ensure the loyalty of the local population. Kind of like what congress does today. Helper also has large coal mines that can supply the US needs for several hundred years.