Following our wonderful stay in the Portland / Salem area, Mo & I boarded the Amtrak Cascades for our trip northwards. I had thought that it would be a neat idea to take the train northward on what is a scenic route, but we were partially thwarted when BNSF decided it needed to do some bridge work north of Seattle. We decided we would still take Amtrak, but instead of riding their bus service from Seattle to Vancouver, we would instead rent our car there and drive that portion.
It is unfortunate that this part of the Amtrak Cascades route is on BNSF track and not Union Pacific, but it was a comfortable ride nevertheless. We upgraded to Business Class, and had reserved seats, a place to plug in the laptop, and the movie State of Play was shown during the trip.
Mo is pleased to be riding the rail, as opposed to flying
The scenery alternated between urban buildings to wooded hillsides and waterways. I had been warned ahead of time that the Tacoma Narrows bridge was on this route (you know the one – “Galloping Gertie“); this one looked much more stable.
the Tacoma Narrows bridge
Upon departing the train at Seattle, we schlepped our luggage to the rental car location, and then got a fine look at rush hour traffic on Hwy 5. We reached the Canadian border just after nightfall, and besides accidentally taking the special “pass” lane (we got a small reprimand from the border guard, but probably saved 10-15 minutes of wait time) our new passports performed quite well. We made it to the Hilton Metrotown in plenty of time to relax the rest of the evening.
Hilton Metrotown hotel
(Next: pt 3: Vancouver)