After what can only be described as a REALLY, Really bad day, I do one last check of my email before shutting down the home office, and I get to smile. I see this land in my inbox: Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer Train Is Heading to nearby Colorado and Utah.
WHAT? When? I’m there. I know I can make it happen. My day was still a horrible day. But to end it with a little piece of good tourism news like this? Makes all the bad stuff that happened before this, a little easier to take.
So what about this sweet piece of news? Getting to learn that this majestic piece of tourism machinery is finally coming to America for its very own set of tours. To make it really better news was to learn just how close it is to Las Vegas and how easy it will be to do this. Then to see its route. Denver to Moab. Almost as majestic as the lands from where it comes from!! Oh, Yea!
Yes. For the first time, Canada’s famed glass-domed luxury rail operator, the Rocky Mountaineer, is bringing its amazing train journeys to the American Southwest for a standalone U.S. adventure. And from what I have read, they are NOT skimping on any of the details they are famous for.
The Rocky Mountaineer?
Sorry for all the blabbering about this awesome train ride and train company. For anyone who has taken this trip, you understand my wording doesn’t do any of it justice. For the uninitiated: If you have never heard of or been to the Canadian Rockies and experienced the Canadian Rocky Mountaineer, you have no idea what heaven on earth is. Seriously. This is not a train ride as much as it is an experience for your senses.
First off, The Canadian Rockies are breathtaking in their own right. How do I know? On what was my very first international tour and if I remember right, one of my first actual tours after I was certified as an International Tour Director in 2006. I spent 11 days with a group of 30 people from Northern California. Going up the pacific west coast of Canada. Two of those days were on this train seeing things that will never be equaled here in America or, probably anywhere else on earth.
Think I’m kidding? I can tell you this: If you were to track down those 30 people and ask them about this trip they took 15 years ago; I can guarantee you the one thing they will remember with clarity is experiencing The Rocky Mountaineer and seeing the Candian Rockies from the train. They may not remember much else about that trip all those years ago, but they will remember the train. It was THAT impressive of an experience.
Not only did we see nature at its finest through huge, unobstructed windows, but we were also served by some of the best people you could ever want to be served by on a moving train going through some of the most impressive landscape Mother Nature has ever created.
The trains themselves are floating luxury liners. Very comfortable to ride in. The glass windows are as clear as if they weren’t there. You see everything in first-class comfort. This train does not have a bad seat on it. Add to all that, you get excellent narration by the friendly staff. (remember, this is coming from a professional tour director) The service was matched to the train and to the beauty you were witnessing. That was not easy to do, but they did it with relative ease.
Of all the tours I have ever done, this is the one I will never forget for as long as I live. The bad thing is that all of my pictures from that adventure are from the early days of digital cameras (2006) and were taken with a 3-megapixel digital camera. They just don’t look good enough for me to want to use them here. But my memories are still very vivid of the experience.
As Close to Heaven in America?
Doing tours through the Southwestern United States, the one thing I hear a lot from my guests is the majesty of our canyons. The almost religious experiences they have standing on the rims of the canyons. Several of the canyons can cause even the most hardened person to start to question their disbelief in a higher power as they gaze upon the red rocks and awe-inspiring peaks.
The route this train is taking, over two days, I would have to say is probably as close to the breathtaking beauty of the Canadian Rockies as you can get here in America. Starting in Denver, Colorado, and ending in Moab, Utah. And for those of you who have traveled this area here, you know there is some seriously tough competition for the title of the most beautiful canyons here. So this is a very special route.
I Want To Ride!
Obviously, this is not for the budget traveler. However, they are only requiring a $25 deposit to hold your seat right now. And since the first train leaves in August, I have plenty of time to save my change and get a spot on board. That’s my plan so far. I’m seeing this as a special treat for my wife who has been the one keeping me sane and not going ballistic through this long lockdown and the near-death of my career in tourism because of it.
Finally, I need to add that I am an old train fanatic. So the idea of moving this train down from Canada for tours interests me even more. I am wanting to follow their journey. I would love to see what, when, and how they bring the trains down to Denver. So look for more updates as I learn more about the entire adventure. One way or another, I will be there and I will have updates here as we move into 2021.
FYI: I will post if I learn of any Las Vegas tour operators who are operating any tours from here.
What Are Your Thoughts?