LAX to SAS

Sunset Limited

Podcast Description

Amtrak, the National Park Service's Trails and Rails Program, and the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University have created podcasts to enhance your travel on the Sunset Limited train between New Orleans and Los Angeles.

Instructions For Downloading and Listening to Amtrak Audio Podcasts

On this page, you are able to download and listen to any of the audio podcasts that occur between the Amtrak stations you selected on the Amtrak Podcast homepage. For most browsers, clicking on the large MP3 image along the right side will prompt you to save the podcast audio file to your computer.

Some browsers, such as Google Chrome automatically begin playing audio files. If this suits you, feel free to relax and enjoy the audio podcast; otherwise, press the browser's back button to return to the podcast list. Once you have returned to the podcast list, right-click on the MP3 image and select "Save link as…" This will then allow you to choose where you would like to save the file on your computer.

Once you have downloaded the podcast file, you can navigate to the folder where you saved the podcast and use one of many suitable MP3 programs to open the audio podcast.

Podcast Intro

An Introduction to the Trails & Rails Podcast Presentation.

Summary This audio track introduces the podcast and gives the listener information about the partnership between Amtrak, the National Park Service and the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
Author
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 1:24

Train Intro

An Introduction to your Train.

Summary This audio track gives the listener important information about the amenities provided on Amtrak trains and general precautions regarding movement around the train and between cars. The listener should also be sure to listen to all announcements given by Amtrak officials.
Author
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:20

Los Angeles Yesterday & Today

A City Rich with History and Attractions.

Summary Since its founding in 1781, Los Angeles has become the second most populated city in the United States and one of the world's centers of business, trade, entertainment, culture, media, fashion, science, technology and education.
Author Written by Joel Mason and Candace Sharp (Undergraduate Students) and edited by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:04

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

The Largest Urban National Park.

Summary When the word largest or biggest come to mind, we often think in terms of it's bigger in Texas or maybe Alaska, but this isn't always so. The world's largest urban national park is found here in California and boasts a variety of wildlife, trails and even a movie set.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:27

Mission San Gabriel Archangel

Godmother of the Pueblo of Los Angeles.

Summary Established as the first mission in Los Angeles in 1771, Mission San Gabriel has provided both Native American and Spanish explorers with agricultural resources, the hope for gold, and all that the Wild West had to offer.
Author Written by Meredith Reigle (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:38

Ontario & Pomona

Agriculture and a Healthy Environment.

Summary Once rural citrus-growing areas, Ontario and Pomona have seen many waves of immigrants from around the world as they grew into densely populated suburbs of metropolitan Los Angeles.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:11

California Development vs. Conservation

A Necessary Balance.

Summary As development spread over the 1900s, Californians begun to see the value in conserving their wild resources and began to set aside these lands to protect them for future enjoyment.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:22

Santa Ana River

The Taming of a Wild River.

Summary Once a wild and free river, running nearly 100 miles from the mountains of San Bernardino County down to the Pacific Ocean...the Santa Ana River has suffered the fate of many of California's rivers. It was a little too wild, and with water in such great demand, that the Santa Ana is now a dry concrete channel for much of the year.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 1:47

Palm Springs

Playground of the Stars.

Summary Can you image yourself up on the big silver screen or living in the same neighborhood with a star as big as Frank Sinatra? For a century Palm Springs, California has been a second-home mecca for movie stars, and now its amenities are attracting retirees in record numbers.
Author Written by Emily Magnotta (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:08

Wind Farming

Green Energy.

Summary Be on the lookout near Odell, IL for a sea of 400 foot tall windmills, painted light grey to blend in with the clouds. The three-bladed windmills are turned into the wind by a computer-controlled motor, and the wind spins turbines which are up to 130 feet long - more than the length of three 18-wheelers parked end to end!
Author Written by Lauren Davenport (Undergraduate Student) and Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2010.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:26

Sonoran Desert

Surprisingly Bio diverse.

Summary Sprawling across southwestern Arizona, parts of California, portions of northern Mexico, and much of Baja California, the Sonoran Desert is a massive desert region covering a considerable amount of area in North America. Though the desert might at first appear desolate, the area actually gets up to sixteen inches of rain each year, which helps to support a large and diverse ecosystem teeming with plants and animals.
Author Written by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:16

Salton Sea

All Dried Up?

Summary The Salton Sea is the largest lake in California. Located in the southeastern region of the state, it spans Riverside and Imperial counties in one of California's most scenic desert areas. There was great excitement about developing resorts and luxury communities along its banks...but history and geography have not been kind to the Salton Sea.
Author Written by Adam Legamaro (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:20

Joshua Tree National Park

Desert Life.

Summary Deserts are often thought of as dry, desolate, and deadly. Here in the southern region of California, two desert ecosystems converge to form a distinctly unique National Park. In this area, animals, plants, birds, and pioneers have lived, died, thrived and struggled.
Author Written by Chris Oswalt, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:00

California

An Amazing Destination.

Summary California has attracted people with its climate and natural resources for thousands of years. This attraction continues to this day with beautiful parks, famous cities and a rich history.
Author Written by Kyle Tynan (Undergraduate Student) and edited by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:11

Yuma Territorial Prison

Devil's Island.

Summary The Yuma Prison was not for the faint of heart. It was nicknamed Devil's Island for its notorious nature, and because Yuma was one of Arizona's hottest, driest, and most isolated Wild West locations.
Author Written by Amy Machemehl (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:55

Colorado River Steamboats

River-bound Entrepreneurs.

Summary Used by miners and ranchers sending cargos of copper ore, hides and wool downriver, Colorado River steamboats thrived until they were supplanted by the railroads in the late 1800s.
Author Written by Nina Chick, as part of a course in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:34

Gila Bend & Sonoran Desert NM

Crossroads of the Southwest

Summary Gila Bend has been nicknamed the Crossroads of the Southwest due to its importance as a transportation route in the settlement, development and growth of the Great Southwest. It is also near the Sonoran Desert National Monument which contains over 487,000 acres of highly diverse desert habitat.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:24

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail

A New Path.

Summary Determined to forge a new route between Arizona and Los Angeles, Juan Bautista de Anza financed his own exploratory trip in 1774. When he successfully traveled from the San Francisco area to Mexico, Spain authorized Anza to launch a colonizing expedition in 1775.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:44

Maricopa, AZ

New Growth.

Summary The nearby Maricopa Wells, a source of water in this desert climate, provided impetus to establish a stop for the newly developed Butterfield Overland Mail Route. While many amenities are available in Phoenix, new development and commercial enterprises are starting to call Maricopa home.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 1:47

Tumacacori National Historic Park

Mission Centric.

Summary As English colonists were arriving at Jamestown and Plymouth Rock on the east coast of North America, the southwestern Native Americans were starting to see visitors from the south. Catholic missionaries from Spain traveled north from Mexico to establish missions in the Southwest region that is now Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 1:53

Casa Grande National Monument

The Big House.

Summary Many mysteries abound in this region of Arizona and many of these have to do with the ancient tribe of Native American who lived in Central and Southern Arizona for centuries. One such mystery can be found in Casa Grande Ruins National Monument near the Amtrak stop of Maricopa.
Author Written by Nina Chick (Graduate Student) and edited by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:45

Tucson, AZ

Reminders of a Wilder West.

Summary Welcome to Tucson, Arizona. If you look out your window, you may be able to see two gentlemen awaiting your arrival at the station. Meet Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday. These statues are reminders of the historical legacy of Tucson, though its history began long before the Wild West era.
Author Written by Carmela Martinez (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:54

Saguaro National Park

Home of the Saguaro Cactus.

Summary The Giant Saguaro cactus is a well-recognized symbol of the American west. With its arms reaching to the sky and covered in thick thorns, it has found a place in American folklore. Yet, this unique cactus grows nowhere else on earth and only in a small geographical area of the United States.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:35

Mescal, AZ

Wild West Set and Real Life Struggles.

Summary North of the tracks near Mescal, Arizona sits a little piece of movie-making fame. Can you picture an Old West town where life was tough but simple, survival was paramount, and disagreements were settled with gunfights? Mescal, Arizona represents that mixture of real life and movie themes.
Author Written by Katie Beth Byers (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 1:31

Benson, AZ

The Gateway to Cochise County.

Summary The City of Benson, Arizona serves as the Gateway to Cochise County where visitors can enjoy the town's Old West atmosphere, and unique natural features. Benson was founded in 1880 just before Arizona's mining boom, and developed as a stopping point for the Butterfield Overland Stage mail delivery route.
Author Written by Luke A. Scott for project within the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:04

Coronado National Memorial

Gold and Riches.

Summary Many people searching for wealth or a better way of life have set their sights on southern Arizona. During the 16th century, Spain was seeking gold and riches in the vast territory north of Mexico City, and sent Francisco Vasquez de Coronado on an expedition to confirm rumors of seven glittering cities of gold and jewels.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:15

Chiricahua National Monument

The Sky Island.

Summary In the southeast corner of Arizona, volcanic peaks tower above the surrounding desert grasslands. The Apaches called this isolated mountain range the land of standing-up rocks. Today scientists consider the Chiricahua Mountains a sky island of immense biological diversity.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:56

Fort Bowie

An Oasis for Travelers.

Summary Fort Bowie now stands as a window into history. As a site of the National Park Service, Fort Bowie gives visitors a chance to visit this important historical rest-stop. The experience takes visitors on a path to view the Fort Bowie ruins, a Butterfield Stage Coach Station, and even the spring at Apache Pass.
Author Written by William Lufburrow (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 1:52

Welcome to Arizona

Home of the Grand Canyon.

Summary Images of stark, silhouetted buttes and vast expanses of desert, and of course the ever present Saguaro cactus, have filled the television and movie screens both here in the United States and abroad. You can still find working cowboys and cowgirls, as well as Native Americans on landscapes reminiscent of yesteryear.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:21

Regional Mexican Cuisine

Cooking Style.

Summary At times along this Amtrak route, the train comes very close to the border of Mexico. The influence of the Mexican culture is predominant along this route, and probably the biggest influence is in its regional foods.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:21

Colossal Cave

A Cave with Room to Discover.

Summary Just north of the town of Vail, Arizona there is a secret hidden in the heart of the mountain. Deep underground dwells a place of other-worldly architecture. Huge columns and draperies made of translucent white minerals decorate the rooms. It's all part of an ancient cave system so extensive they named it Colossal Cave.
Author Written by David Andrew Wendborn (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 1:59

Lordsburg, NM

A Launching Point to the New West.

Summary Lordsburg, New Mexico has been an important stop for travelers throughout the growth of the Old West. It continues to be a strong community and a launching point to destinations in the New West.
Author Written by Luke A. Scott for project within the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 1:36

Continental Divide

The Great Divide

Summary The Continental Divide, also known as the Great Divide, runs through the entire North American Continent, starting in the north on the Seward Peninsula of Alaska, running down the spine of the Rocky Mountains, then into this relatively flat portion of New Mexico...sending water either west or east all along the line.
Author Written by Justin Stephens (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:38

Deming NM

Sunshine and Natural Beauty.

Summary Deming is your gateway to southwest New Mexico's rich history and abundant sunshine. This town of 15,000 invites you to enjoy their friendly town, beautiful surroundings and a unique annual event.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:12

Sunland Park, NM

Community Strength

Summary At 5,000 years old, Sunland Park, NM is rich with cultural heritage and ready to share it with you. Located at the base of Mt. Cristo Rey, with the beautiful Florida Mountains to the north, Sunland park is a small town of 13,000 people, and the southernmost city of Dona Ana County.
Author Written by Karla Jain Powell, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:09

New Mexico

The Land of Enchantment.

Summary There are plenty of outdoor activities in New Mexico. From hot air ballooning to backpacking, you can find an activity you enjoy in this state. Public lands make up more than one third of the state. Many are open to the public for recreation, including 16 areas administered by the National Park Service.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:00

Rancho Anapra & Border Wall

An International Focal Point.

Summary Just west of El Paso the train passes very close to the Mexican border, and within view of the community of Rancho Anapra...providing an opportunity to consider the real-life complexities of immigration issues.
Author Written by Corey Beverage (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:11

El Paso

A Hub for International Commerce.

Summary Home to diverse landscapes, populations, and activities, the city of El Paso thrives with booming industries, extensive history, and valued cultures. Because of its location at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, along the Rio Grande, and between the border of Mexico and New Mexico, El Paso serves as a hub for international tourism and commerce.
Author Written by Julie Dickey (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:45

Ysleta, TX

At the Mercy of the Rio Grande.

Summary Ysleta, perhaps the oldest town in Texas, came into being as a refuge for Spanish conquistadors, Franciscan clerics and Tigua Indians. Ysleta today is part of the city of El Paso.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:41

Pecans West Texas

A Texas Icon.

Summary Have you noticed the rows of green trees in the middle of the desert? If you could stop and listen, you might hear party music coming from a unique ranch concealed in the midst of the pecan groves.
Author Written by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:24

Prada Marfa

An Artistic Sculpture.

Summary While gazing out to the South side of the train, you may spot a Prada store all alone, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. You might like to make a quick shopping excursion at this fine designer store, but much to many people's amazement this is a sculpture and no Prada attire can be purchased here.
Author Written by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:01

Valentine

The Romantic's Postmarking Center.

Summary Valentine, Texas might only seem like a tiny dot on a map, but every year thousands of letters bursting with love pass through Texas' only adobe post office. From the train the only evidence of Valentine, Texas is a tiny road sign pointing to the south, but the town is so much more.
Author Written by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 1:51

Marfa

The Artistic Center of West Texas.

Summary Watch for the town of Marfa, Texas - you can see it from a distance because of the green vegetation and trees that surround the area. The railroad made good use of the well water available here and founded the town as a water stop for trains in the early 1880's. In the 1920's the population grew rapidly with the building of the Marfa Army Airfield west of town, which remained open until 1945. Today the town is a mecca for movies, art and it serves as a tourist destination between Alpine and Big Bend National Park.
Author Written by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:00

Alpine, Texas

Big Bend Country.

Summary In West Texas there is a town a called Alpine, nestled in the mountains at an elevation of almost a mile. It is the center of the ranching industry for the West Texas region known as the Big Bend Country, and home to Sul Ross State University, one of the smallest state-supported schools in Texas.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:28

West Texas Wildlife

Natural Camouflage

Summary Lions and tigers and bears, Oh My! Well, not tigers and bears, but mountain lions do live in West Texas. As you look out the window of the train, try to see if you can spot any wildlife. Here the tracks pass through habitat of a wide variety of plants and animals.
Author Written by Neal Kocurek, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:15

Big Bend National Park and Marathon, TX

A Beautiful Park and a Ranching Hub.

Summary Soldiers, ranchers, miners and tourists have carved the history of Marathon, Texas as deep as the Rio Grande, with tales as tall as the mountains of Big Bend. Originally settled by Solomon and Mayer Halff, the brothers shared 1 million acres between San Antonio and Ft. Stockton.
Author Written by Christopher Hogan, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:21

Sanderson TX

Home of the River Riders.

Summary Sitting half way between San Antonio and El Paso lies a place where time seems to have stood still, there are no traffic jams, crowds of busy people or coffee shops filled with patrons working intently on their laptops. Sanderson, Texas was founded in 1882. It was once known for being frequented by outlaws, gunmen, rustlers, and border bandits who would ride through the town while fleeing from the Mexican border and the law.
Author Written by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:36

Rio Grande River

The Big River.

Summary The Rio Grande River, or Rio Bravo del Norte as it is called in Mexico, is the fourth largest river system in the United States, spanning 1,885 miles. This river serves as the stage for various recreational activities, as well as shaping the southern border between Texas and Mexico.
Author Written by Andria N. Godfrey (Graduate Student) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:30

Amistad National Recreation Area

An International Lake.

Summary Seeming to appear out of nowhere as the train travels through the desert, Lake Amistad is a mecca for tourists by providing rich nature tourism, as well as an international experience.
Author Written by Jordan Spitzer, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:01

Hunting in Texas

A Fading Tradition.

Summary Have you spotted any deer along the tracks? Believe it or not, there are plenty of them out there! Hunting of white-tailed deer and other wild game is a cherished tradition in the Lone Star State. Many different types of hunting strategies and techniques are used to increase the odds of success when chasing game.
Author Written by Stephen Stiles Parker (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:48

Pecos River Bridge

A Surprising View.

Summary The landscape in this part of West Texas may look fairly stark and barren, and water is not always visible. But it is here, where the train crosses one of the most impressive sights along its route, bringing the desolate landscape and water into one memorable view.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:03

Geology of West Texas

Fossils from an Ancient Sea.

Summary While the land outside may look motionless, forces within the earth and weather acting upon it, continue to transform the countryside.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:13

Langtry & Judge Roy Bean

A Railroad Town with a Peculiar Judge.

Summary The town of Langtry is steeped in the exciting history of the Old West, and includes one of the most colorful characters in all of West Texas lore, Judge Roy Bean.
Author Written by Joel Novosad, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:04

Camel Corps

The Army's Most Successful Failure.

Summary As the train rolls through open country, far from cities, towns and farms, try to imagine the region as it was in the 1850s - a thinly populated wilderness. Charged with protecting this vast territory, the U.S. Army faced tremendous challenges just moving men and supplies and maintaining lines of communication.
Author Written by Nina Chick, as part of a course in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:00

Mesquite & BBQ

Texas Tradition.

Summary Mesquite is favored for its sweet, smoky flavor, and the meat of choice across Texas is beef brisket. Throughout the state, you will find many different types of trees and foods, but mesquite and barbeque will always hold a special place in the hearts and stomachs of Texans.
Author Written by Liza Nowlin, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:14

Hondo & Dinosaur Tracks

A Town Full of History and Wonder.

Summary Hondo's rich history is evident in its charming, old historic buildings, and in the much older dinosaur tracks in its creek bed. Hondo was first settled in 1881 and looks as though it was created out of a history book, from the beautiful old brick buildings to multiple homes and businesses flying the American flag.
Author Written by Lindsay Ruple (Undergraduate Student) and edited by Susan G. Scott (Lecturer) in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:14

El Camino Real de los Tejas

An Agent for Cultural Diffusion.

Summary As the train tracks traverse central Texas, we cross a 1000-mile historic corridor called El Camino Real de los Tejas. This royal road was established to connect a series of Spanish missions and posts along its length from Monclova, Mexico, across present-day Texas, and into what is now northwestern Louisiana.
Author Written by Susan G. Scott, Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 1:55

Frio River & Garner State Park

Chilly Water and a Warm Atmosphere.

Summary The Frio a favorite spot for many Texans, is a spring fed river flowing southeast for about 200 miles until it connects with the Nueces River. As you cross over the railroad truss bridge near Knippa, Texas you can see the Frio down below.
Author Written by Clinton Williams, Undergraduate Student in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 2:27

Seminole Negro Indian Scouts

First-rate riders, marksmen and trackers.

Summary As the United States sought to gain control of this area, a remarkably tough and resourceful group of expert trackers helped the US army against their fellow native-Americans. Known as the Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts, this once elite fighting group was eventually abandoned by the army.
Author Written by James E. Miculka with the National Park Service based with the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, as part of a National Park Service Trails and Rails project funded by Amtrak, 2009.
Published Fri. Jan 20, 2012
Duration 3:55

With Gratitude

Close

The podcast team wishes to thank Eva Hoffman. Eva invited us to use information from her book, "A Guide to Amtrak's Sunset Limited," which provided invaluable background material (published by Flashing Yellow Guidebooks, 2009).

We are very grateful for to the following entities for generously allowing us to use their music and sound effects free of charge for this educational project: