evening Russell, returning from his fresh air break, stopped at
the front desk to chat and finding more information about
checking out and transportation to the train station in the
morning. Returning he said the plan was to call the desk when
our bags were packed and ready, they would send a trolley for
the bags. Then when we are checking out, the taxi will be
summoned and waiting to take us on a ten to fifteen minutes ride
to the train station. And we followed it to the letter and
arrived at King Street Station with spare time to explore.
Russell took his break first
while I stayed inside watching the luggage and taking pictures.
What a great old lady and loving restored for many more decades
of service and duty.
Russell returned from outside so we traded watchdog duty for the
luggage, and I went outside. Hard to imagine that we were here
about same time on last Friday three days ago.
Home of the Seattle Seahawks. Tours are giving daily.
Clock tower at King Street Station, a replica of the San Marcos
Tower in Venice Italy.
to the waiting room, Russell and I chatted as we still had some
time before being called to the gate. We both would like stay a
few more days in Seattle although we had a good taste of the
city during our short stay. I told him that I thought our trip
to the Northwest was similar to or mimicked a pilgrimage to the
grotto at Lourdes in France where pilgrims could drink or bathe
in water flowing from a spring. When leaving, many left behind
their canes and walkers or wheelchairs. So I reasoned we made a
pilgrimage to the Emerald City and we drank and bathe in the
heavenly water and leaving in much better condition in mind and
body. I noted that when I met Russell in Santa Ana his gait was
shallow and he was using a cane. And now returning from our
pilgrimage to the Emerald City, the cane had been disassembled
and stowed away in the luggage and a sure and faster gait was in
your step. A miracle for sure, albeit a small one. He said
trying to walk on the moving train was also a big help and a
Then it was announced the train was boarding
and proceeded to the the gate. We were met by the gate by the
pert and cheerful conductor. She welcomed us to her train and
pointed out the direction of the sleepers. Our car was #1130 and
room C and we were greeted by our attendant who help stow the
bags then we went up stairs to the our room C.
The southbound Coast Starlight at the ready in the Seattle
This part of the track from
Seattle to Portland will be new to both of us. Track mileage for
Seattle and Santa Ana is 1413 miles and 1226 between Portland
and Santa Ana for a total of 2639 rail miles all on the west
coast. On my last trip here I left Seattle on Empire Builder #8
to Essex, MT for several days at the Izaak Walton Inn which is a
great place to visit. Leaving there I took the Empire Builder #
27 to Portland thereby bypassing this leg. So we were seeing new
scenery and landmarks. If we came up on the northbound this
would all be in night and dark.
Adjacent the football stadium is the home of Seattle Mariners
The 90-foot-high cone sheathed in diamond-shaped stainless steel
tiles is the exhaust for the Museum of Glass Jane Russell Hot
Shop, where visitors can watch glassblowers create beautiful works
of art from molten glass. Some of which take over a month to cool
An inlet of Puget Sound.
The first capital city stop on our trip south to home.
The train had to make two stops here. Long train, short platform.
Olympia is the farthest point west on the famous Oregon Trail.
Located on the southernmost point of Puget Sound, the peninsula
know as Olympia was "Cheetwoot" (the black bear place) to the
Coastal Salish Native Americans, who lived on the peninsula for
many generations before the establishment of an American
Crossing the Columbia River at Vancouver WA on the swing bridge.
Refueling at the Portland station.
Lead engine on train # 11.
Coach section for train # 28 of Empire Builder.
Known as the beautiful "City of Roses," Portland is Oregon's
largest metropolitan area, known for its parks, fountains,
gardens, breweries, jazz festivals and the famous Portland Rose
festival dating to 1907. It is one of only two cities in the U.S.
with an extinct volcano within its borders.
Street side of station.
View toward trains and tracks.
Willamette River Falls at Oregon City.
Oregon City was the first city in the U.S. to be incorporated west
of the Rockies. Founded in 1842, it was the original capital of
the Oregon Territory and the end of the of the famous Oregon
Trail. Huge paper mills are evidence of the state's lumber
Our second capital city stop on this trip. Here we stop at the
state capital and the third largest city in Oregon. Winding
through Salem is the Willamette River, one of the few to flow from
south to north.
This is my stop when
attending Winterail in Corvallis, OR held in mid March each
year. Winterail is where you can enjoy high-quality,
multi-visual slide presentations, photo contest competition and
Shortly after leaving Albany,
darkness began to slowly envelop our train as we sped south
towards home. The rest of the day was spent as we had done so
since leaving the Emerald City, relaxing and watching the
passing countryside while we moved about between our room, the
dining car and the lounge-cafe car.
We had Room C in car 1131
and were positioned between the dorm car in front and sleeper
1130 behind. We had to walk through 1130 to get to the dining
car and to the rest of the consist. This was my first time
traveling in a large bedroom with an upper bed, a wider lower
bed (which becomes a sofa during the day), a wash basin, an
enclosed toilet and shower, as well as a chair bolted down
across from the sofa which reminded me of a boat captain's chair
or the chair on the back of a fishing boat where you fight your
catch. The chair faced the front of the train and the sofa
looked to the rear of the train. Russell liked sitting in the
chair and I was happy with the sofa. Room B next door is the
mirror image of ours so that room's sofa faces forward. Going
north we were on the engineer's side and now going back, we are
again on the engineer's side so we will be on the ocean view
side returning. This is one rule never set in stone as the
sleepers behind us are turned just the opposite orientation so
their Room C does not face the ocean. A couple from Finland whom
we had lunch with were traveling around visiting the national
parks and treasures and booked this train with the assurance
that they would be in a room with the ocean view. However, their
room was not on the water side. This late in the year, part of
the coastline will be in creeping darkness when we past through,
I said to them to help them feel better.
After dinner we took a stroll through the
Southbound Coast Starlight, stopping in cafe/lounge car at the
stairs, while we were trying to decide if to go down to check out
cafe and what was for sale at the snack bar. For sure, let's go
explore, as it is part of the train. The snack bar looked older
than the ones on the Surfliners in southern California but just as
functional. We were greeted by Sergio, the cafe attendant on this
southbound Train 11 as I scanned the cocktail in a can selection.
I inquired if he carried Screwdrivers. "Not in a can," he replied,
"but I can make you one from scratch as I have all the
ingredients." Two! both Russell and I shouted. We could have
been watching a bartender in a fancy downtown at his craft as
Sergio assembled our libations. Good golly, Miss Molly. Was that
an excellent drink or what? It hit the spot and help bookend
our drinks yesterday watching the bay, today watching the
Northwest whiz by. We stayed downstairs at a table with our drinks
for a while then moved upstairs to sit in front of the panoramic
windows for an expansive view of the passing scenery. Then it was
time to head back to our room and get ready to retire for the
Celebrating his birthday today is my long time
friend. Our mothers were classmates in nurse's training school and
after graduation they went their separate ways. After a couple of
years, they both became pregnant and wanting to keep it a secret
from each other they didn't tell the other of their expecting
baby. Well, their birth announcements crossed in the mail and both
were surprised and happy. A tale retold on many birthdays by both
Mom's. Happy Birthday Bill W. and wishing you many more.