My first view of Colorado was from the train, at dawn, as the Denver Zephyr hurtled across the plains from Chicago. A horde of families from the 'burbs were headed to the mountains for a budget ski vacation, and after fueling all-night shenanigans in the Dome Car with endless snacks, we were blown away by our first sight of the Rockies -- or maybe the smog, in the early-morning light, it was hard to tell.
Talk about a wake-up call!
Forty-five years later, my family -- 28 members strong -- is about to recreate this trip, as part of an 85th birthday celebration for my father. At this time tomorrow, we should be almost within sight of the "Travel by Train" at Union Station.
"I'm looking forward to being surrounded by my family on a train," says my thirteen-year-old nephew, John Nicholl, whose family found their flight into Chicago from Boston cancelled by the blizzard, so they rented a car and drove to Chicago so that they could be part of the fun.
I'll provide updates from the tracks. For more from Calhoun, read the Wake-Up Call archives.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.