Father and 'First Mate' Take to the Rails

Father and First Mate Rails Amtrak Stories

Marco got to be a kid again when he took his son Noah on an epic cross-country trip on the California Zephyr that stretched from Chicago to California this summer.

“You can get off for a breath of fresh air on the 33 stops along the 52-hour journey, or you can get off and explore and get back on the next day,” Marco says in his blog post about the adventure. “Hopping off (and offline) is recommended.”

Along the multi-state trip the duo got to experience a speedboat on Lake Michigan in Chicago, take in a minor-league baseball game and even meet a childhood friend of his grandfather’s in Omaha who was quick to share vivid memories 70 years later.

“I felt like a navy sailor, with my first mate in tow, laughing and cracking juvenile jokes along the way, sleeping in bunk beds,” Marco says of his time with his son, who is growing up in Manhattan and got to see small towns like Ottumwa, Iowa; Helper, Utah; and Winnemucca, Nev., for the first time.

“Many take their shots at Amtrak, (I have myself in the past), but when you travel on the Zephyr I assure you, you’ll become a defender of this national treasure,” he says.

Enjoy reading #AmtrakStories like this one? Share your own experiences with us for a chance to win prizes like free travel at AmtrakStories.com. For 31 days, we’re highlighting our favorite travel stories in honor of the 31.6 million passengers who helped Amtrak reach its highest ridership record ever.