Day Five: Arvada, CO to Tucumcarie, New Mexico

Music to go with this day’s travels:
This was a special day for me. Jim and I were going to try to locate an old, abandoned train station in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Why? Because 14 years ago the Lysak kids and I took a train trip to visit the Gronlie kids in Denver. However, the Arkansas River had flooded and the train could go no further than Albuquerque.

Train travel fourteen years ago was fantastic. With a family sleeper car booked, first class service was provided: beds turned down, shampoo brought, white linen tablecloths, steak, wine, and entertainment. Alas, it is no longer this way. (I know; don’t ask me about the trip from Hell).

But I digress. We were carried by taxi 236 miles through New Mexico and left at the Las Vegas train station, while being promised a bus would arrive “soon”. This sent my little family into a tizzy and despair. They were sure we would never get home.

To set things right, Jim and I drove around in circles, talked to 4 strangers for directions, and eventually in pouring rain, found a completely refurbished and renovated Las Vegas Train Station! The Las Vegas Railroad Depot was built in 1899. Although very similar to Hotel Castaneda (now under re-construction) with its curvilinear gables, the depot was not designed by the same architect. A $1.2 million renovation was finished in 2003. Amtrak stops here twice a day, if the Arkansas River isn’t flooded.

We went east on the 70, to the I – 25 south, and when we hit Las Vegas, spent several hours on a most delightful 104 east without a single other car!

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