From Pacifica.city: We went on the first-ever tour put on by Coastside Land Trust of Half Moon Bay's Purissima Ghost Town (click the link to register for the next tour, November 28). Despite warnings of poison oak and wasp attacks, we toured Purissima with a young child, who loved it. All the buildings are gone, long since reclaimed as roadbed material for Highway 1 or farm buildings, but the original row of cypress trees, the mansion foundation, and water tower concrete pad are still quite visible. Henry Dobbel built Purissima up to just around 300 people in the 1860s before a variety of circumstances destroyed the town. If you loved A&E's show Cities of the Underworld, you'll love Purissima.
Retired Santa Fe Lounge Car, Raton, New Mexico Raton, New Mexico Train Depot New Mexico Skies Santa Fe Southern Railway Locomotive Red Rocks, Albuquerque to Gallup, New Mexico
Men's Colony, San Luis Obispo, California
I took all these pictures with my iPhone 6+ camera while traveling cross-country on Amtrak's Capitol Limited, Southwest Chief, and Coast Starlight. Along the way, I saw two of the strangest names I have ever encountered in the United States: The Youghiogheny and Monongahela rivers meet at Confluence, Pennsylvania.
Amtrak long-distance trains offer sleeping compartments, coach seating, food and beverage service, showers, restrooms, helpful attendants, and incredible scenery. If you shop around by date, you can get steep discounts on rail fares and accommodations. I use a MasterCard Amtrak Guest Rewards credit card for all my daily purchases to rack up points for my next train trip. ALL ABOARD!
John Maybury photos from Amtrak's San Francisco Zephyr: Iowa farm (top); old Creston, Iowa train depot (middle); Mississippi River from the train bridge at Burlington, Iowa (bottom). Unfortunately, the train goes through but does not stop in Villisca, Iowa, home of the infamous Villisca Ax Murder House
Mori Point (foreground), Rockaway Headland and Pedro Point (background) Sharp Park Golf Course (foreground), Sharp Park Fishing Pier (background) Pacifica State Beach, Linda Mar Whale breaches just offshore (Leo Leon photos)