by Victoria Principato
Yesterday morning, Cate and I stood on the platform in Denver’s Union Station, awaiting the arrival of the Amtrak 0005 California Zephyr. After a few minutes, we heard the rumble of the train on the tracks, and we shot each other a look; it was time. As soon as we checked our bike, we hurriedly boarded the train, placed our things on our seat, and booked it toward the Observation Car. Thanks to our friend and coworker Abe, we knew we had to secure spot in the windowed cars. Luckily for us, our determination paid off, and we were able to snag a couple of front row seats for one of the best segments of the trip!
The journey from Denver Colorado to Glenwood Springs was absolutely breathtaking. Our ride took us from the urban streets of Denver, to the lush green forests of the Rocky Mountains, to the side of the rushing Colorado River, and throughout the the depths of Glenwood Canyons. (Pro tip: on Thursdays through Sundays, tour guides from the National Park Services ride in the Observation Car and share history about how the rails were built and facts about the Rockies!) If you ever have the opportunity to take this route, I would highly recommend it. There is no better way to see America’s largest mountain range than to sit in a comfortable seat, and take in the views.
Upon arriving at our destination, Cate and I had no problem retrieving our bike from the the baggage car, and rolling it into the station. Situated alongside the Colorado River, the Glenwood Springs station serves the town’s many visitors. Inside sits the Glenwood Railroad Museum, which tells the history of the station and the history of the Colorado Rail Lines.
From the station, it was simple to access our hotel. We walked across the Colorado River by taking the new Pedestrian Walkway! With beautiful views of the canyon surrounding us, it was quite a scenic stroll! However, it wasn’t always this simple. Cate and I had the chance to talk with Transportation Manager of Glenwood Springs Tanya Allen. She filled us in on the city’s latest project, which includes a new bridge from the highway. Although this project will be disruptive to commuters, in the long term, it will be well worth it. In the meantime, commuters will have to adjust to new traffic patterns, or find alternative methods of transportation. That’s where We-Cycle comes into play! We-Cycle is a bike share program, primarily located in Aspen and Basalt Colorado. A similar program in Glenwood Springs could prove extremely helpful during the upcoming construction period!
Between white water rafting, hiking, biking, or resting in the famous Hot Springs, Glenwood Springs has a plethora of offerings when it comes to activities! One of the top destinations, however, includes the town’s Hanging Lakes. There are beautiful hiking and biking trails that lead to this gorgeous, natural water formation. Since we were a little pressed for time, unfortunately we weren’t able to make it to the Hanging Lakes. However, we were able to bike through the town, which was a great alternative! We spent time walking through the shops and checking out the many restaurants Glenwood Springs has to offer. We wish we had more time to spend in Glenwood, but will definitely be back to try biking on the scenic trails. California here we come!