An unexpected drink at the Crooked Creek Saloon

Heading to Denver? Like riding trains? You can’t go past a morning Amtrak ride up the the Front Range of the Rockies to Granby. And an afternoon return after a few hours of sight seeing.

This is a short story about the return trip. Unusual one at that.

With a reputation for late running, and the need to share track with numerous private freight rail companies, I was pleasantly surprised when the Amtrak’s California Zephyr rolled into Granby only minutes behind schedule. No mean feat really, considering the train runs from San Francisco to Chicago.

Only 10 minutes in, the p.a. crackles with an announcement  that the train will be delayed at Fraser (Winter Park) for 90 minutes.  A small problem has arisen. Union Pacific has pulled up the tracks for repair and haven’t quite put them back yet!

Now Fraser and Winter Park no doubt look fantastic in winter and are alive with snow lovers. With 90 minutes to kill maybe even a bit of skiing could be done. But this in not winter, it is Sunday in early Autumn. The only choice is the Crooked Creek Saloon

outside the Crooked Creek Saloon with my besties

outside the Crooked Creek Saloon with my besties

This was my first taste of America outside a big city. A few westerns came to mind, and those other back country movies of despair and desolation. One being Deliverance. That’s probably just a bit harsh.

Now this place was the real thing. Even going into a “saloon” made me smile. Swinging bar doors, wooden floors, old verandah, hat and coat rack about 10 feet long, just like the movies. Fantastic atmosphere and the locals seemed to endure the presence of 50 stranded travellers without crying into their beers.

Before long Amtrak staff announce its time to get back on the train. A little bit of me wanted to stay there.

Read all about the Crooked Creek Saloon.


About Tony Jarrett

Taking regular visitors routes but more often just where the trains or buses go. Japan leads the way.
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