1881: Denver – Ogden

After a layover of 3 hours, we continue north through rough rocky areas up to the mountains. At the station of Colorado Junction in the state Wyoming, we already have reached a height of 6300 feet above sea level. Further up, the train turns towards the west. Here, we see alot of protection galleries, who often sourround the tracks like a tunnel, for protection against rubble and land slides. On the bleakly ground we see some croaked animal. We climd higher and higher until we have reached the highest point in Sherman, 8235 feet above sea level. The ride continues across bleakly hills and meager and arid landscapes. During the evening, we reach Laramie-City, where the Fort Sanders is close to.

The two hour layover gives us the opportunity to snack and to buy some food, which is mostly bread and hard cheese. Sunday morning we cross the Norhfork of Platte River, the first river since we left Denver. We do not see any trees, only meager grass. The massive rocks of the Rocky Mountains come closer to the tracks, which lie between the almost dried river bed and the cliffy rockies with its tower-like fantastical formations. At night, we arrive in Green River, where we can buy a glass of beer for 15 cents. During the next day, we seem to pass through fertile land, despite that we are still very high in the mountains, at about 6000 feet. The train rides through narrow valleys, which are enclosed by high, rocky mountains, on the left (southern) side covered with low plants, while we are accompanied by very high, steep falling red rocks on our right side.

At 9 o’clock in the morning we arrive in Echo. Here we enjoy the view again of grainfields despite the altitude of 5460 feet. However, soon the valley becomes narrow again, the mountains are so close to the train that there is almost no space for it and the fast running mountain river. The tracks lead us through windy curves and many tunnels. The majority of the time I have spent on the roof of the freight wagons with the other passengers. The train had 35 to 40 freight wagons and 3 passenger wagons in the back. We come closer to the mormon state Utah; we see the first Indians, riding into the mountains on small horses. About half an hour before Ogden, the passenger wagons are decoupled, the freight train continues to the station without us. For a while, we remain there and spend the time talking. Then we rush to the wagons which we move on the downhill-leading tracks, jump back on them and drive like this, without engine, cheerful towards the mormon town, while a breakman in front controls the wagons’ speed.

At 1 o’clock in the afternoon we are in Ogden, where a train track branches off to the north. Ogden is a small town with only a few, simple (light) built houses. Because my train which will bring me further north only leaves during the evening, I find plenty of time for lunch and a walk. In front of a saloon, two young bears are tied. I enter in order to be served a simple meal. The prices are moderate, almost cheap, a good glas of beer costs 5 cents. The young hostess, which I recognize to be German, tells me that she is one of the 4 wifes of the innkeeper. She avoided to answer my question of how she liked it here, but she did not look very happy at all. In the afternoon I went for a walk with other passengers. The land seems to be fertile, we see alot of fruits which are offered at moderate prices.

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