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Los Angeles - Seattle Round Trip on the Amtrak Coast Starlight

Los Angeles - Seattle Round Trip on the Amtrak Coast Starlight
October 10 - 15, 2020

Report and Photos by Carl,

Amtrak Coast Starlight Train No. 11, left, from Seattle to Los Angeles. Empire Builder on right, Seattle to Chicago.


Saturday, October 10, 2020 - Depart Fullerton, California, Station 8:16 a.m. Pacific Surfliner 763  Unreserved Coach Seats Arrive LA 8:51 a.m.
    Transfer to Train 14, Coast Starlight Los Angeles - Seattle (King Street Station) 1 Superliner roomette | Car 1431 Room 5  Departs 10:10 Arrives Seattle 7:56 PM Sunday Oct. 11.

Read only the purple stations.  Start at the bottom right at Fullerton and read up for Train 14 and down for Train 11, the return trip.


Above is a screen shot of my iWatch.  In this report I will insert these shots that I took while on the trip to:  Remind me of the Day, Date, Time, Location, and Weather.  However, other items that I have chosen to show on my iWatch for home use are the mileage on my Tesla in the garage at home, and the sunrise or sunset, whichever is coming up next. This first iWatch screen shot was to remind me when we left home. (Screen shots on an iWatch can be taken by pressing the two buttons on the right side.)

Table of Contents.

1.  Fullerton to Los Angeles on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner.

2.  LA to Seattle via Amtrak Coast Starlight

Seattle Shutter Tour of the City and Snoqualmie Falls

Washington State Ferry Seattle to Bainbridge Island Round Trip.

5.  Amtrak Coast Starlight Seattle to Los Angeles

6.  Links

7.  Photo Notes

8.  Slide show of all photos in this report, click those you want to see in a larger format.


Click any image with a border to get a larger version; click BACK in the browser to return to this page.

Fullerton to Los Angeles on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner.

The journey begins at the Fullerton, California, Amtrak Station where we board a connecting Pacific Surfliner to Los Angeles where we board the Coast Starlight Train #14.

Plenty of train traffic to watch while waiting since both southbound Pacific Surfliners and Metrolinks and BNSF freights pass through.

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 Yours Truly and Don Roe ready to board Pacific Surfliner No. 763 for Los Angeles. Right, onboard - Step one complete.

L.A. "River" with one of many ornate bridges.

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With my TravelScoot, I got a limo and driver for the trip to the Metropolitan Lounge to await boarding for the Coast Starlight.

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                                                                                                             Photo Credit:  Don Roe

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Good to see Eric Smith's paintings in the Metropolitan Lounge where they serve pastries, juice, and coffee from a cart now rather than buffet.

LA to Seattle via Amtrak Coast Starlight

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Back to platform 8 to board the Coast Starlight and meet our Room 5 Car Attendant Dean.

A Roomette = 2 facing seats in the day, made into a lower bed at night with a tilt-down upper bunk.

Room H, is the full width of the car.  Dean suggested that I put my TravelScoot in there since it would not be occupied for the trip.

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Departing L.A. past the favorite, San Antonio Winery.

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Soon Dining Car Attendant, Frankie J, came through to get lunch and dinner reservations.  We were pleased that during COVID-19,  it was still possible to eat in the Diner, at every other table.

Strawberry fields near Oxnard.  A later October growing season than farther south where we live.

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Another feature on my iPhone is Speedometer, right.

Ventura Pier.

Crowne Plaza overlooking the pier.

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Beach side camping nearing Santa Barbara.    Cactus on open beach.

Santa Barbara lagoon with the zoo on the right.

State street toward Stearns Wharf

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For Lunch during the stop at Santa Barbara, I had "Shrimp in Lobster Sauce".  Pan seared shrimp with Parisian carrots, haricot verts, and confetti rice.  Served in a brandied lobster sauce.  Served with a side salad and a specialty dessert. (Vanilla pudding.)  It looked better after discovery.  Same menu for lunch and dinner, different items for breakfast.

Continental Breakfast menu, click for a larger image. Or, you could get a slip from the Dining Car Steward for breakfast in the Cafe.
I usually had apple walnut oatmeal and breakfast sandwich; Don preferred breakfast sandwich and yogurt. One thing the Cafe had that was different was a small pizza.


Sunny ocean views before Hollister Ranch and Vandenberg AFB.

Refugio State Beach

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Jalama Beach County Park and campgrounds 

Former life saving station where Queen Elizabeth landed for her visit at the nearby Reagan Ranch.

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Still sunny at Surf the closest Amtrak Station to Lompoc.

You might see some wildlife.


Canada Honda Creek outlet.

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Sand dunes at Ocean Beach Park reflecting in freshwater pool with ocean beyond.

Salad Bowl of America

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San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum

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Southbound Coast Starlight was in SLO Station, so we took track 2.  The Southbound soon left.

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Over Cuesta Grade Horseshoe

Trestle and avocado groves toward San Luis Obispo

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Don studying Hwy. 101 over Cuesta Grade.

Oilfields between Paso Robles and King City, California

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Express Menu arrives like a pile of aluminum, left, but looks better uncovered.

This menu was the same for lunch AND dinner both ways...for 8 meals. 
We heard that we could get a voucher from the Diner for a meal in the Cafe, which we did a couple of times for variety.

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Sunset over the farm land of Gonzales, California.

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Wind turbines near Gonzales.  The color of the sky changes as you pass the same two turbines from facing west to facing south.

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San Jose I stepped off for an outside shot.  Our room 5 upstairs on right.

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First sight of the day, Klammath Lake and Mount McLaughlin beyond.


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Freights look different in the northwest with lumber products headed south.

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Site of years-ago landslide that put the RR out of business through here for months.  Right, fog among the pines.

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SP Caboose as a yard space for outdoor workers in winter.  UP helpers ready to go.

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Office Bridge across Middle Fork of Williamette River at Oakridge, Oregon

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A couple of Oregon towns we passed through without taking photos.

Portland, OR, Union Station

Columbia River between Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington.

Vancouver, Washington, Amtrak Station.

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We arrived in Portland about 8 pm and called for our first Uber XL, large enough to carry my TravelScoot.  At the Best Western Plus Pioneer Square, 77 Yesler Way, Seattle, WA  98104, Room 315 was a nice room with 2 queen-sized beds.  It included "Grab and Go" (water, sweet roll, and Nature Valley bar) but no breakfast seating because of COVID-19.  We also learned after the first day that there would be no room make-up during our 3-night stay.  There was a a 7-11 about 1 1/2 blocks up 1st Street.  The Washington State Ferry docked less than a block to the west down Yesler Way.   
The street is downhill to the piers.  It was Skid Road, when they skidded logs down to boats.

Building across the street from our hotel, shot from our room 315 before our Uber ride to Pikes Market for our Shutter Tour.

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Ubers had plexiglass between passengers, who were instructed to only use the back seats, and the driver.
Seattle Shutter Tour of the City and Snoqualmie Falls

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We were to meet the Shutter Tour at 9:45 at Pikes Market, near the clock and information booth.  We arrived early to take some photos before the crowd arrived.

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Bought Sue a souvenir from Chukar Cherries and made a mental note to eat at Lowell's after the Shutter Tour.

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North, in the center of the market, is a less flashy fish market, perhaps with lower prices.

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After my photo loop through the market before the 9:45 meeting time,  I had several opportunities to photograph the iconic entrance without delivery trucks and visitors.

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Back at the meeting point next to the Information Booth, I took some photos from my cane/stool which you can see 2 legs of above.

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This location is good for people watching as well.  I have seen the football passer in other folk's photos of the market.  Orange pants means an employee of the Pike Place Fish Company.

For the last few shots, I was around the "?" at the upper left of the map.  These maps were in a newspaper available at the Information Booth.

Last photo
of the drive down to lower level before our tour.  Rebecca was having some trouble getting to the tour having missed a ferry connection.

Shutter Tour of Seattle and Snoqualmie Falls

I purposely booked the Shutter Tour of Seattle and Snoqualmie Falls because son Mathew and I had taken this tour 4 years ago on our "American by Amtrak" train adventure.

Check the Shutter Tours website for more about Terry's company and read about, find the price, and book your Seattle Area Tours:  Click Here.

Terry's website has these excellent articles including his professional photographs (click each to read):  Top 10 Places To Take Photos In The Seattle Area.  5 Seattle Attractions You’ll Love.  7 Day Trips From Seattle

Shutter Tours is a family-owned business founded on five generations of Seattle exploration. We rely on our family experience in the region to craft unique Seattle tours and rely on local guides to create authentic tour experiences for our guests.

If you are visiting Seattle for the first time, our tours will take you beyond the Space Needle and Pike Place Market and introduce you to unique points of interest across our city and region.

If you are a local, our tours will help you get to know Seattle on a more intimate level, giving you enthusiastic pride for the region you call home.

Starting our 12th tour season in 2020, we are excited to share Seattle with you and your travel companions. We have been recognized every year we've been eligible for the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence Award, with over 1,000 five star reviews. This rating ensures you Shutter Tours is a company who is in the top performing 10% of all travel businesses worldwide for consistently earning high ratings from TripAdvisor travelers.

Terry's photography related site and his youtube with some fun stories behind the photo videos.
Meeting spot for the Shutter Tour from Terry's website.

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Terry walked us about a block to his bus and one of the first sights of the tour was  Seattle Art Museum's Hammering Man

Stretching 48 feet in the air and weighing in at 26,000 pounds, Hammering Man labors for 20 hours a day, with a rest from 1 to 5 a.m. and on Labor Day.  Designed by sculptor Jonathan Borofsky, Seattle’s Hammering Man sculpture was built to honor the working class men and women of the world. In the words of Borofsky, “he or she is the village craftsman, the South African coal miner, the computer operator, the farmer or the aerospace worker—the people who produce the commodities on which we depend.”   He pounds his hammer four times every minute. This is one of several Hammering Man sculptures around the world.

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Ken Griffey, Jr. statue at Mariners Park

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Terry took I-90 east to Snoqualmie where Maple trees had turned red.

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At the Falls, Terry taught us the Rule of Thirds, left.  Center, the typical photo at the falls.  Right, using the rule of thirds and having the subject on the left third and facing open space in the photo such as the falls.

Another rule-of-thirds with Portrait Mode.  I missed taking the words of inspiration photo.

He also mentioned getting the entire height of the falls with the lodge as size indicator.  And, Terry mentioned panoramic mode to get the falls and river.

Live view allows the use of Long Exposure, as above, Loop to make the waterfalls seem to be a video
Then Terry turned us loose to see if we could get some photos like his, following the tried and true rules. Or, just to enjoy the beautiful sight.

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Left, My attempt at a long exposure . Right, I made a loop of the falls but it can't be viewed in a web page.

My panorama of the falls and valley below.

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Terry, under terrible conditions of the rising mist from the falls falling as rain, still did a normal shot, left, and portrait mode, right. 
The right one made a great loop making it look like a video of rain on us.

Terry finally took a more distant shot of us.

We walked back to the Lodge to check out the gift shop. Do you recognize this side of the lodge from being used in Twin Peaks?

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Gift shop in the Salyh Lodge.

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Noticed this Audi after I noticed the fall-color tree reflecting on the bonnet...reversed in the photo on the right.

We passed the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie.




Snoqualmie Centennial Log

Back across another floating bridge to Seattle.

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Tallest Building in Seattle.  Google home office.

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Fremont section has 90 art installations.  Also, it has floating homes in the range of $500,000 to $5 million and Drew Carey owns one.

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Fremont Bridge Troll with a VW bug under his left hand, left, and his view of the bridge.


In 1989, the city asked the Fremont Arts Council to launched an art competition to rehabilitate the area under the bridge, which was becoming a dumping ground and haven for drug dealers. Later that year a team led by sculptor Steve Badanes won the competition and was inspired by the folktale Billy Goat’s Gruff. It is made from rebar steel, wire and 2 tons of messy ferroconcrete, 18 ft tall with a shiny metal eye and crushing a Volkswagen Beetle in his left hand (which was a time capsule for Elvis Memorabilia for a while until vandalized).  Source.

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Click any image with a border to get a larger version; click BACK in the browser to return to this page.

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Don, right, seemed to have empathy for the Troll stuck under a bridge.

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More of Fremont's art including Lenin.

Next stop where we got out for a stretch - Fishermen's Terminal

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I purchased some smoked salmon here.


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Fisherman's Memorial
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Fishing boats near the memorial.

This image makes a nice loop photo with the water constantly moving.


Kerry Park for the best overlook of Seattle.

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Another professional photo by Terry of me and Don.

Terry took Rebecca's photo as well, while I was taking a panorama of Seattle and the sound.

Terry pointed out the electric buses using centenary from earlier street cars.

The Shutter Tour ended where it had begun, Pikes Place Market, in time for lunch at Lowell's.

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Menus during COVID-19 are as above left, and they can be viewed on one's iPhone, it works as a touch less menu. Second, homeless man stepped in front of my camera then sat beside me and chatted.  I gave him $3 when our name was called at Lowell's and he asked for "a couple more".   That seemed  to be the modus operandi for beggars in Seattle.  Third, the weather during our meal.  Right, Don had given a homeless-looking lady come cash and she asked for a $10 or $20.   Right, Don at Lowell's.

The fruit market across from Lowell's.  While we were waiting 10 minutes for seating..

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Lowell's has sound-view seating on 2nd and 3rd levels.
Lowell's Hot Dungeness Crab Melt:  Dungeness crab, mozzarella cheese and our homemade Bacon-Tomato Jam on rustic rosemary bread grilled on the flat top. …$25

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After lunch, we walked north for a photo of the second Public Market sign and s stop at the original Starbucks.

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The line at Starbucks was the shortest of any time I had been there, so I had a Frappucino, and a souvenir for Matt.  There was no seating, so I walked across the street and sat on a wall to enjoy the drink.

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While enjoying my coffee drink, I noticed the whimsical painting above Starbucks, then the two mannequins above that.

While waiting for Uber to return us to our hotel, I took the photo above with lots of information in one shot.

A final shot of the Public Market clock as sundown was approaching.

The light was better this afternoon on the buildings across the street from our hotel, so I took some more shots with my iPhone XS Max out our room 315 window.

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Beautiful former trolley stop in Pioneer Plaza and glass bricks in the sidewalk allowing light to the underground section of Seattle.

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We learned from the desk clerk that there was a 7-11 about 1 1/2 blocks up 1st Street, so we journeyed there.  As we returned back to the Pioneer Square Hotel, I liked the light for some more shots.

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The last time I stayed here, the red Saloon light was on as well. But it has gone out of business.

Best Western Plus Pioneer Square lobby.

Washington State Ferry Seattle to Bainbridge Island Round Trip.

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Left, From the ferry terminal, you can see our "HOTEL" sign at the bottom of Yesler Way, just across the street from the Ferry Pier 50.  Center, from top of the new elevator for those who don't want to navigate the stairs.  Right, view from the top of the elevator and my scooter crossing the pedestrian bridge, over the vehicles also taking the ferry, to the terminal and loading lounge.

Since I had taken the Seattle-Bainbridge Ferry round trip a few times previous, I thought Don might like the trip on a Washington State Ferry.  I knew there was seating exactly like what he likes - window, table, with his book and underlining pen.  He knew I would be all over the ferry with my TravelScoot taking photos.  I did not tell him about small craft warnings because of the wind, but with these giant ferry boats I figured he wouldn't feel the rough seas, and he didn't.  This was a 35 minute ride both ways with 20 minute layover on Bainbridge, for a round trip Senior ticket of $4.50.

The Wenatchee was the ferry we boarded for the round trip to Bainbridge Island

This is one reason for the ferry ride - an excellent afternoon view of Seattle.  The wheel was not there the last time I visited Seattle, and it was under repair this day.

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Even though every other seat was marked off, there were not enough passengers to even use them.

The onboard cafe was closed so no passengers in sight in the middle 1/3 of the ferry.

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Motorcycle ready to disembark first, current weather, looking back to the Seattle skyline from the back of

On board was a map of the whole Washington State Ferry System.  I photographed the part Sue and I and our family had taken several times from Anacortes to Friday Harbor to visit our niece and husband when they lived on Friday Harbor.

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In sight of Bainbridge Island and several ferries docked there. Cars lined up to board for Seattle.

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Landing on Bainbridge. All passengers had to get off even if it was a round trip.  Display in Bainbridge Island Terminal.

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Poster in Bainbridge Island Terminal.  View from Bainbridge Island back to Seattle.

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Heading back to Seattle and passing the Tacoma heading to Bainbridge Island.

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Seattle Space Needle and Seattle Seahawk and Mariners stadiums.

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Left, walking back to the hotel we walked over a tunnel that has replaced a double-deck freeway.  Right, a mural on the building across the street from our hotel that had been in the shade always before.

Amtrak Coast Starlight Seattle to Los Angeles

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October 14, 2020, time to head south on the Coast Starlight back home.  Because of our enjoyable dining experience the previous evening at 13 Coins, just steps from the Amtrak Seattle Station, we checked out of the hotel, got an Uber XL to the restaurant which opened at 7 a.m.  They too have the touchless menu that you can bring up on your phone.  The waitress might have thought we couldn't handle the touchless method, so offered us paper menus, but I managed to get the menu on my iPhone.  Click here for their menu. 

Inside the beautifully restored Seattle King Street Station.

It is always nice when your train appears on the schedule board.  Also note that the Empire Builder leaves later and there are Cascades as well.

Time to go to our sleeper car in the center train.  Empire Builder on the left, Cascade on the right at King Street Station.

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Interesting poster on the platform.  Coast Starlight on left, Empire Builder on right.  King Street Station and downtown.

Interesting that Locomotive No. 2 had this sticker on its side.

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Thomas was our 1131 Car Attendant* as we headed out of Seattle past the Mariner's and Seahawk's stadiums.

*He had been assigned to 2 coaches, which is the norm these days, but someone called in sick so he was our sleeping car attendant, and the remaining car attendant had to care for 4 cars.  A replacement coach car attendant was flown in to Sacramento and was assigned the 2 coaches that Thomas had to leave to care for our sleeper.

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Seahawks stadium's multi-ton roof can move off the field in 10 minutes.

Amtrak yard southern Seattle

Starbucks home office.  Logo below the flag.

After COVID-19, you will be able to take a Shutter Tour to the Boeing plant.

Often other railroads wye into our mainline and this one came across a traditional bridge on the Puyallup River.

It may take a while to get to the same elevation. Tacoma Junction, I-5 in the distance.

A bit of a different design on this bridge.

Nice clean looking switch engine.
Internet Information:   BNSF 2790
Description:  Rebuilt / repainted (updated to GP50)
Location:  Vancouver, WA

We do not see entire trains of wood products in So. Cal.
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Arriving in Tacoma, I recognize the Museum of 
Glass and this unique Hwy. 509 bridge to I-705.

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Port of Tacoma lift bridge, E. 11th. Street, and giant grain elevators for storing grain from rail cars that will be loaded onto ships in Commencement Bay.

SS Cape Island (AKR-10) was originally laid down for commercial service in 1976 as Illinois, a Type C7 ship for the States Lines. It was launched and then needed to be used for military service transferred into the Naval Vessel Register (NVR)[1] as the USNS Mercury, as transport ship for vehicles, and other goods. The ship was returned to Crowley Liner Services of Jacksonville, Florida. In 1993 the ship was permanently transferred to the navy's roll as a ready reserve ship, and renamed Cape Island (T-AKR-10). The Cape Island remains laid up in a ready reserve state so that it may be activated in five days, if called upon. The ship is currently moored in Tacoma, Washington.

Fireboat on Commencement Bay next to Duke's Seafood and Chowder on Ruston Way.

Point Ruston Ferry.  Before being acquired by Point Ruston in 2007, the Point Ruston Ferry had already lived a full life as navy vessel Aquidneck YFB-14 and civilian ferry.  Built in Maine in 1936 by the Bath Iron Works Corporation, it was put to use ferrying men and materials back and fourth between Newport and Goat Island.  The ferry was named after a small island in Narragansett Bay that had been called Aquidneck by the Native Americans that had lived in the area. Aquidneck was retired from naval use in October of 1971 and transferred to Washington five years later to serve as a ferry between Stielacoom and Anderson Island as part of the Pierce County Ferry System.  Here it performed its final years in public transportation before the state sold the vessel.  Purchased by Haldo Inc.’s R.T. Wallace, the ferry sat for only a few short months before the Point Ruston Team found it listed on Ebay priced as “negotiation only.”

Moving quickly, Mike Cohen bought the ferry as a potential showroom for the Point Ruston development, appropriately renaming the ferry the Point Ruston.

The boat is moored on the Tacoma Waterfront in front of the Point Ruston site just a few minutes further down the canal from its younger (but bigger) brothers, the SS Cape Intrepid and the SS Cape Island.  The Point Ruston occasionally patrols the Sound and makes trips up to Seattle as a moving showroom.  Next time your on the waterfront, come down and check out Ruston’s newest tourist attraction.

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The Washington Hwy. 16 bridge over the Tacoma Narrows.


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Low tide in the Tacoma Narrows.  Day Island waterfront buildings at low tide with grounded boats.

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Driftwood at Chambers Regional Park.  Sunnyside Beach Park sculpture.

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Pierce County Ferry to Anderson Island.           Ketron Island with Anderson Island beyond.

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Nisqually Flats.

Away from the water, at Centralia, time to work on more photos, with Sue-made mask for trips to the diner.

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Saw a sign, "Swing Nose Frog" along the right of way and the left photo might be that frog.  Right, elevated RR bridge at Kelso.

After lunch, I took a look into the scarcely used Sightseer/Lounge Car which has a cafe on the lower level.  Don likes to spend time here working at one of the tables.

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Vancouver, Washington, Amtrak Station.

Upstream Columbia River with Vancouver, Washington on the left.  We crossed to Tomahawk Island

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Houseboats on North Portland Harbor with Tomahawk Island on the right.

BNSF 2628 awaits our passing so it could be switched onto the mainline to Portland.

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Portland Station.  A 25-minute stop giving Don time to go to the souvenir shop inside for a tee shirt.

Portland's TriMetMax trolley south of the Amtrak Station.

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PG&E plant on right.

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Williamette Falls Dam on the Williamette River and West Linn hill where our niece Andrea and husband Paul Cunningham live.

Molalla River

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Salem Amtrak Station and Honeywood Winery, south of town, where I have purchased fruit wines online.



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Homeless encampment along the tracks.  Not an uncommon sight in any US city.
Someone once said that traveling by car you see the fronts of city buildings and the front yards of homes, but traveling by train you see the back yards and alleys.

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Morning in Emeryville after a night in a sleeper which I relate to as a constant 3.0 Richter scale as you sway side to side in bed.  Commuter train in Emeryville.

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Oakland Yard which I toured at a California Passenger Rail Conference in 2019.  Click here for that report with more photos of the Oakland Yard.

The only place that the Coast Starlight does street running is in Oakland


Most streets that cross the tracks go to the harbor.


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Sign lists the San Joaquins and Capitol Corridor trains that stop here.  Oakland Stadium still has the Raiders logo even though they are in Las Vegas now.


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In an Amtrak Superliner Roomette these are the controls.  The left is next to the window, above the seat with a directional reading light at the top with the white button to turn it on and off.  In the middle is the temperature control, which, one car attendant said would change the temperature one degree.  Sleeping on this level, I did feel some heat coming from the register below the window one time, but a second blanket did a better job.  At the bottom is ONE 120 volt outlet for the room. The only plug is labeled, "Razor Only".  At one time, it did not charge anything that was plugged in and neither did the adjoining room 's outlet.  I mentioned it to Thomas and he quickly fixed  the  outlet.  During the night, on the lower level, there was a door open next to the exit and I noted a large panel of breakers inside. 

Above the seat on the other side of the roomette is the same top light, but in the middle is "Music Control".  Of all the times I have traveled in a Superliner I have never had music in the room, so bring your own music with headphones.  At the bottom is the yellow call button for the car attendant to make up our bed at night, or set it up for day use in the morning.  If he is in your car at the time, he will hear your call, since it actually rings throughout the car.  He usually stays in Room 1 on the upper level.  The white switch is 3-way.  Middle is off, left is white ceiling light, right is a blue night light.  The upper bunk has a reading light as well. 

I always take a "Bestek SuperCharger" (mine is labeled ISELECTOR on the front) which allows for 2-120 volt plugs and 5-usb outlets.  Take your own cords for your devices.  I use this at home as well as on car and train trips.  Source.

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Some Amtrak riders do not realize there is a cooler in the roomette.  It is cleverly labeled TRASH, but with a clean liner and a self contained bag of ice from the car attendant, it kept wine and smoked salmon cool for the entire journey.

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San Jose is a stop for several commuter trains.

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On Board Supervisor, Melody Wooten, and Conductor Derek Diep.  Derek works out of Sacramento and Melody calls him the best dressed Conductor on the Coast Starlight.  He says, "I try."

Nicely manicured fields around an old farmstead near Watsonville where it was 77 degrees and sunny.

Elkhorn Slough Marine Reserve which connects to the ocean at Moss Landing.

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MSVRR Historical Society has a museum at the Salinas Station including:  Southern Pacific Steam Locomotive 1237, Southern Pacific Caboose 726, and a Southern Pacific Railway Express Agency/Post Office Car, Fruit Growers Express Refrigerator Car.

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Salinas has had these nice pieces of artwork honoring the local economy for several years.

I'm sure these workers don't think much about it, but this Salinaa produce field has a beautiful backdrop.

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By this time we had the menu, or what we wanted from the menu, memorized.  Don doesn't look like he is headed into a gourmet meal. 
I had several cups of the sugarless, odorless, flavorless pudding rather than a Blondie or Brownie.

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An excellent work space for processing my photos in a Roomette along the Salinas River, south of Bradley.

Santa Ynez River nearing the ocean outlet.

Ocean-Beach Park and Hwy. 246 along the far hills to Lompoc.

Lompoc-Surf platform and parking lot for Surfliner stops.

SpaceX building,
which I had missed on the way up, within the huge Vandenberg AFB .

Vehicle Assembly Buildings where perhaps some SpaceX
rockets are shot.

Former Life Saving Station and dormitory.

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Jalama Beach County Park and Jalama Beach Camping

A view only had from the Coast Starlight or Pacific Surfliner - Hollister Ranch's solitary beach, between Pt. Conception and Gaviota.  Access only by boat or walk from Gaviota State Park.


With sunset at 6:25 pm,  I did not take any more photos as we passed Santa Barbara, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Van Nuys, Burbank and into Los Angeles.  In LA, we had a red cap ride to the Metropolitan Lounge where we had light refreshments, then back to a Pacific Surfliner for our 1/2 hour trip back to Fullerton where we arrived about 10:53 as scheduled.  Sue and son Matthew picked us up with the luggage and my TravelScoot.  We dropped off Don and ventured on home after a fantastic round trip to Seattle.

Don and I enjoyed the trip very much.  It reminded us of past train trips in the Great Northwest to the Izaak Walton Hotel, in Essex, Montana, and Glacier National Park.   The earlier trips there were in 2012 (, 2008  (, and 2010 (

Photography Notes:

Don asked me on the trip when I used my iPhone XS Max (3024 x 4032 pxl) for photos and when I used my Canon 35mm Digital T6i with 18-135 mm lens (4000 x 6000 pxl).

1.  I
like some features the iPhone has that the Canon does not:
    a.  Ability to shoot panoramas, in confined areas like sleeping cars or outside vistas and have instant feedback whether it is usable or not where the Canon's panoramas are created on the computer later after downloading from the memory card.
    b.  Ability to shoot waterfalls etc. and use as loop photos that look like a movie. (Such as Snoqualmie Falls and the falling mist at the Falls.)
    c.  Ability to make movies and store on the cloud, where the Canon movies take up card space.
    d.  Ability to download photos via blue tooth to my computer for processing where Canon has to be done by taking out the memory card and using the card reader on the computer.
    e.  Ability to know the location of photos for future use because of GPS capability of the iPhone*.

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*First on left, Swiping up while looking at the saved iPhone image gets a small screen with location.  Second, you can enlarge the map. Third, further enlargement showing nearby town name.  Fourth, showing nearby photos taken on the same or earlier trip.

Click any image with a border to get a larger version; click BACK in the browser to return to this page.
2.  Some advantages the Canon has are:
    a.  Ability to zoom in on a subject where iPhone's zoom is enlarging pixels
    b.  Ability to change speeds to eliminate movement in low-light situations
    c.  Ability to take 3-shot bursts each at a different exposure for eventual use in HDR, or selecti
ng one as the best of three.

To see a  Slide show of all photos in this report,  Click Here  Click those you want to see in a larger format.



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