San Francisco to Chicago.
51 hours, 20 minutes.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, Amtrak is 11 percent more efficient than domestic airline travel and 31 percent more efficient than auto travel on a per-passenger-mile basis.
Traveling long distances by train has always had a romance about it.
Cozy cabins, endless scrolling panoramas and viewing cars are epitomized in books and movies. And although it is rare to experience this wonder these days, the California Zephyr manages to still capture the mystique that lies at the heart of a great train trip—the journey.
It whisks you away from the frantic bustle of flying cross-country via pointless layovers that unnecessarily increase our carbon footprint, and allows you to be lost in whatever story you choose.
Amtrak does feel the need to drag your wandering thoughts away from the beauty of the scenery and down to earth with meals that leave a lot to be desired and with service that sometimes make you think the company should change its name to Asstrak.
Despite this, there is nothing like experiencing one of the greatest train rides across North America for its rolling panorama of some of the finest landscapes the United States has to offer.
Coupled with the better environmental efficiency of train travel over flying or driving, it is a great option for anyone looking to experience the country. In a romantic way.
Zygmunt, or "Ziggy" to family and all of you friends, travels the world, breathing visual storytelling. He lives behind a camera lens capturing the inexpressible moments that, in summation, become our life's story and a larger narrative on the human experience. He started The Wayward Post with Christina to share amazing travel photography and to inspire other people to travel and do good in the world.
When he's not behind a camera, you'll find him moving to a spot... where he'll then use his camera. Indulge yourself in his beautiful work at Zygmunt Spray Photography and 500px. Follow him on Twitter.