National Geographic : 1961 Nov
ADVERTISEMENT Superscenic Space Travel by BRUCE HAMBY Travel Editor, The Denver Post -. B NEWSPAPERMEN are supposed to be strictly impartial; but, I'll argue from here to the moon that the California Zephyr's route be tween the Great Lakes and the Golden Gate provides the most breathtaking moun tain scenery anywhere! The mountain country is my home, but I had never really seen it, nor appreciated its splendor, until I viewed it from the Vista Dome. And winter time, I discovered, adds new dimensions of beauty. Dedicated to the premise that travel al ways should be enjoyable, the Vista-Dome California Zephyr is a magnificent land cruiser which has put nearly two million people into orbits of travel delight. Its "see level" trajectory, carefully timed for maxi mum daylight exposure of favored American spaces, is not paralleled by any other means of travel. This is an "ooh-and-ah" adven ture-at least I never heard so many "oohs" and "ahs" from wide-eyed, camera clicking passengers as the other day when I again rode the C Z. Westbound, the Burlington Railroad eases the train out of Chicago, racing the setting sun to cross the mighty Mississippi by twilight. Roaming through the train, you inspect with mounting pleasure the complete choice of accommodations, spa cious lounges, the famous Vista-Domes (five on the C Z with a total of 120 unreserved sightseeing seats) and the superb diner serv ing freshly-prepared meals of your choice. You know that you will not want for any thing on this "hotel-on-wheels." Next morning at Denver, the train passes through an automatic washer- a subtle hint that scenic thrills await on your journey through the Colorado Rockies via the Rio Grande Railroad. The C Z climbs the east side of the front range, giving you an almost limitless look at the Great Plains, then plunges into the rugged Rockies. At every turn there's a new delight-towering snow-blanketed peaks, pine-covered canyons, and tumbling moun tain streams-a panorama of Nature at her unspoiled best! You cross the Continental Divide through the six-mile Moffat Tunnel, then pace the Colorado River for 237 scenic miles to arrive Salt Lake City that evening. Here the Western Pacific Railroad takes over. Desert country is crossed by star light (the domes are a haven for stargazing and romancing). By breakfast time the train is washed again, and you're already in another fantasyland, California's Feather River Canyon. I'm not prepared to state that this Sierra wonderland is more scenic than my own Colorado Rockies, but I assure you it's sen sational, distinctive and downright beau tiful! Williams Loop . . . tunnels, dams and massive hydroelectric plants . . . color splashed orchards and picturesque towns the arrival in Oakland and the fascina ting trip across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco come all too soon. Two full days of super-scenic travel leave you relaxed, refreshed and inspired-and hopeful that you captured on film some of the splendors which are now treasured memories. Many things stand out about this cross country excursion-the warmth and friend liness of the Zephyrette and crew members . .. the contagious congeniality among pas sengers . . . the many businessmen on board who so obviously endorsed the benefits of this "no-tension" travel . . . the joy of re laxing and "finding" yourself again-and, most of all, the realization that ours is great, beautiful and majestic country, worthy of the tribute of your travel time at "see-level." C Z Features-Superscenictravel at any time of year . . true economy-low fares and meal prices, budget dinners, snack service, generous baggage privileges . .. family fare plan. True comfort-spaciousness. . free domtoroam. . . delightful lounges, such as the unique and charming "Cable Car Room." True convenience and dependability. .. rent-a -car service ... Rail Travel Credit Plan . . . dependable schedules . . . no weather worries, just cozy comfort. FREE colorful literature-address California Zephyr, Dept. 612-N, 547 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago 6, Illinois.