A few weeks ago, The Captain and I spent a few relaxing hours riding the rails.
We had lunch on the Sacramento River Train located in Woodland, CA.
At first we didn't know what we were in for. Instead of a grand depot with hustle and bustle going on around it, the train was just sitting alongside a busy city street.
It appeared as if months, if not years, of grit and grime were on the train but the fancy art work painted around the cars still showed through.
We proceeded to the parking lot where we would leave our car and board the train. As we were the first ones there, we didn't think it looked too safe to leave our car. There was broken glass on the ground, piles of raked up tree branches and trash and a homeless encampment at one end.
We drove across the street and parked in a shopping center lot. By the time we returned the lot was full of very nice cars and large elegant tour buses. Our little three year old Honda would have been in very good company!
We boarded the train at 11:00 sharp, which was right on schedule,
The dining car, although not overly decorated, was roomy and very clean. The tables were dressed with good linens and looked very proper for an enjoyable dining experience.
At this point, I should have inserted a picture of the food. But, for some reason most of my food pictures do not show very well, so I deleted them. But, after seeing Martha's pictures today on the news, I should have shown them. They would have looked right at home!
We had our choice of salmon or chicken, each served with fancy, amazing sides. We picked one of each so we could sample them both.
The food was of excellent quality, very tasty, a very pretty presentation, and we liked both dinners equally well.
The service was the best we have had in any high end restaurant situation.
There was some time between courses, which possibly some wouldn't like, but, for us, it was just right. I felt it gave us time to savor each course and as we weren't rushed, the experience was all the more enjoyable.
After the main course, we walked down to the open air cars and took in some of the sights from that perspective...
A chocolate cherry mousse with pomegranate reduction sauce,
topped with real whipped cream.
Served in a phyllo cup.
OMG is all I can say!
...then back to our table for a delicious and elegant dessert.
If you were looking for some beautiful scenic views, along with a marvelous dining experience, this would not be an especially must-have trip for you. But, if you were interested in a slice of nature and good common American way of life, you would love it as we did.
The tracks run along beside dry fields that at times are flooded with water from the river's overflow during heavy rains. Also the fields are used for planting rice to supply a good part of one of the country's staples.
Hay and grain are grown along side...
...apple orchards and...
...seasonal crops as well.
As you sit comfortably in your seats, listening to the click-clack of the wheels over the tracks and hearing the mournful, yet joyous, sound of the whistle, the river comes into view...
...it meanders around and through the open fields and...
...in front of homes that have their own river transportation tied up to their docks.
At times, along the river, the vegetation is thick and green and it almost appears as you could be lost in the jungle. But, just as quickly, you are once again transported into the middle of a corn field...
...where the farmer is preparing for a new crop...
When I said you wouldn't find beautiful scenic views along the route, I meant in the sense that you might see going down the Rhine or the Amazon. (I'm guessing, as I've never seen either one) but...
...just a glimpse out a window on a simple view of life that shows you a very small part of what makes this country great and...
...how little we really need to have a very beautiful day.
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