Monday, May 31, 2010

Colorado Rockies and Sierra Nevada Mountains

John and I have traveled extensively by rail in the states and the train journey on the California Zephyr through Colorado, Nevada and California is by far the most scenic trip of them all. After traveling all night(coming out of Omaha late Tuesday evening) we found ourselves awaking in Denver. Soon after that stop the train began chugging up the mountains to a height of about 9,000 feet. Snow capped mountains greeted us and below the tracks we could see the rushing waters of the Colorado River.
There were many people out rafting on the river. In one isolated area (accessible only by either boat or train) three young men mooned us as our train went by. The shear rock formations towering over the tracks were quite awesome to behold, as you may note in the picture below.
 The sedimentary rock could be seen in many differing shades of reds, browns, yellows and grays. Also, not all of the formations had the height as shown in the picture above; some formations spread out in layers forming plateaus. The variations of rock was quite impressive. We have heard that this area is very complex geologically. That was easy to see.
 We had the fortune of dining at lunch with a geologist that day. He proved to be quite a repository of details regarding how the rocks were formed. He could also easily glance at a particular set of mountains and estimate their age. According to him some of them were as young as 60 million years, others as old as 900 million. It was also thrilling at that time to see a mountain goat gazing down on us from a mountain peak. And we were treated to many sightings of mule deer. The next day our train brought us through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We found the weather to be quite cool  when we were allowed to step from the train for a few minutes. Later we noticed that it had started to snow! How is this for a winter scene at the end of May?

No comments:

Post a Comment