Friday, March 30, 2012

POTD - East Portal In a Dome

Today's Photo of the Day is awarded to James Griffin of www.actionroad.net. Few images seem to strike me as the many shots passengers have taken from their seats in the Vista Dome as they are about to plunge into the long darkness of Moffat Tunnel. The beauty of the mountains are all around as I approach the bend in the valley where the tunnel plunges into the heart of the Continental Divide, and I can't help myself! I want to catch the tunnel edifice, the grand gateway to the western slope of the state and the nation. My eyes are riveted to the giant letters
MOFFAT
TUNNEL
and the dates 1923 and 1927, signifying the years the tunnel was started and completed. Click goes the shutter and the next moment the world is swallowed up in darkness.

Accomplished author and photographer James Griffin snapped this photo on
November 7, 1981, aboard the Rio Grande Zephyr just before entering the Moffat Tunnel.
Photo: James Griffin

It is a significant expression of the California Zephyr's unique place in history. Without the Moffat Tunnel, there would have been no California Zephyr. Without the Zephyr, Denver and the Rocky Mountain West would never have opened up to so many young eyes.. It's also historic, as the only remaining passenger service on the route has got rid of the domes it inherited before they ever thought of the marketing slogan telling potential riders to view "America at See Level."

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