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'18 Travels through America


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#41 Mystic River Dragon

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 02:32 PM

Wonderful start to your trip--looking forward to the rest! :)



#42 oregon pioneer

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Posted 27 February 2018 - 05:12 PM

Can't wait to see how you liked the Izaak Walton, so glad you were not scheduled to leave Seattle one day earlier!


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I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#43 v v

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Posted 01 March 2018 - 11:42 PM

San Francisco to Seattle photos

 

14 Coast Starlight arriving on-time in Emeryville (San Francisco)

 

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Plenty of snow at Klamath Falls, OR and northwards

 

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Going home from work

 

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Not seen this older? logo on an Amtrak train before

 

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Activity at Klamath Falls

 

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Lot of snow indeed...

 

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... and then it was gone in northern Oregon

 

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Edited by v v, 01 March 2018 - 11:50 PM.

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#44 v v

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 12:04 AM

Sunday 25 February Day 5 - leaving Seattle

Written sitting waiting for freight at a pass just after ESM Tuesday 27 February

 

Train was very busy as we left Seattle, with a further announcement that after the next two stops we would be full, all seats sold.
Travelling coach this time as it was a not too long 16 hour overnight and we like to mix up how we ride. Amtrak coach seats are like nothing else we have ever used with the exception of the 'Mountain Train down the center of Malaysia riding 1st Class. Size, space and comfort are unparalleled, fantastic value for money.

 

The Sound to the left of the train as it heads north is very pretty in places, for us some of the best views in the north west.

By the time we had left the sound and turned east towards the mountains every seat was taken in our car. A largish group of younger people had boarded, turns out to be a college basketball team on their way to tournament in/near Chicago. What a good way for a team to travel with time to relax before their big competition.

 

That evening we were seated at an empty booth in the diner but not for long, first a 30 something woman joined us and then a 20's man. Both were intriguing companions for the couple of hours we sat eating and talking.

 

She was a social worker employed by a not for profit organisation (charity?), her area of operation was various aspects of counselling and more so prevention of children and adults who were abused, mainly sexually. She is very passionate and dedicated about her work as we have found with a friend of ours who works in a similar field.

 

He was a professional Skate Boarder and apparently very well known within his own sport? art? His name is Bobby Dodd and can be found on YouTube. At 28 years old he has travelled the world with skateboarding, is married with 3 children, but now on the edge of being too old to compete! His efforts now are aimed at inventing, perfecting and displaying new moves. He was a very confident and happy many, couldn't stop smiling and also had many wise words too. His parents and he are Native American and he's very pleased to be so it appears.

 

Both he and she had never met or knew of each other, but small world comes to mind when they realise they both know Def Paul a BMX proffesional rider. To her Def Paul is her ex husband, to him a good friend, co-incidences where-ever we go.

 

We enjoyed this EB train journey in coach, comfortable, warm, good company and superb scenery in extremely heavy snow.  How they managed to arrive at Essex, MT up in the mountains with all the snow they had had the previous week only 55 minutes late is amazing, leaving would be a little different...


Edited by v v, 08 March 2018 - 02:35 AM.

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#45 v v

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 12:24 AM

In Seattle Friday photos

King Street Link light rail station. A regular bus pulls up at the same platform a Link train had stood just a few minutes before

 

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A wonderful Blackbird spy plane, pretty dramatic

 

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Spooky spy drone (pun intended)

 

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A Monk Fish at Pike Place market

 

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Large Ferris Wheel outside the Athenian restaurant

 

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Edited by v v, 02 March 2018 - 12:25 AM.

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#46 oregon pioneer

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 03:57 PM

Nice photos! Not an especial lot of snow for the Chemult area in Oregon, and I hope you waved in a general easterly direction as you passed. Western Oregon usually has no snow, as the elevation there is near sea level (as compared to 4,764′ at Chemult).

 

I am sure the reason your train was full is that the days before, #8 was cancelled. Some took the 11 & 6 option (that I heard was offered), only to arrive at CHI on the same day as those that rebooked for the #8 you were on.

 

The "vortex" that eats trains was just east of Essex, can't wait to hear what happened as you continued east, after your snowy sojourn at the Izaak Walton!


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Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#47 Maglev

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 04:09 PM

Thanks for taking time out from your trip to post reports and photos here!  I enjoy it all!

 

The "Amtrak America" logo and paint scheme is on the new Viewliner II baggage cars and diners.


Northeast corridor Heritage, Metroliner, Amfleet and Acela, CN Super Continental, Broadway Limited, Lone Star, Sunset Limited, Coast Starlight, San Joaquin, Southwest Limited, National Limited, Champion, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Wolverine, Crescent, Empire Builder, Cascades, Lake Shore Limited, Silver Meteor, Cardinal. 


#48 v v

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 01:16 AM

In Seattle Saturday photos

 

Lost my heart to this Porsche 918 Hybrid car

 

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Perfect colour match

 

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Seattle at dusk

 

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#49 v v

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 01:41 AM

Leaving Seattle Sunday 25 February photos

 

Views of the Sound from Seattle to Everett

 

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From Everett to Spokane

 

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Edited by v v, 03 March 2018 - 02:17 AM.

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#50 v v

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Posted 03 March 2018 - 02:29 AM

​Arriving at the Izaak Walton Inn, Essex, MT ~ Glacier national Park - Monday 26 February

 

Only 55 minutes late even though heavy snow en-route to the mountains

 

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#51 v v

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 02:39 AM

Monday 26 February Day 6 - 24 hours at the Izaak Walton, Essex, MT 

Written in downtown Kansas City Saturday 3 March

 

​First, we are from Essex, that's the original Essex, England. A mainly flat but surprisingly pretty County (in the north) to the east of London and renown for centuries to breed political activists!

 

An unexpected large number of passengers get off at the Izaak Walton Halt/platform/station? It is after all Monday and they are supposed to be busy mainly at weekends. Appears to be the Glacier National Park is one of the few places in the US with good snow cover at the moment, at least according to our fellow IW guests some of whom had chased snow around the country.

 

Staff of IW had two vans sitting at the end of the platform waiting for the train to arrive, luggage loaded, people loaded and we are driven the 300 yards to the Inn.

 

The skiers and the IW staff talked a completely separate language to us non skiers, half of the vocabulary were words we had never heard before! or certainly not with any connection to snow. The log fire was there in the sitting room, ablaze and surrounded by 5 or 6 armchairs. The settings is idyllic but the armchairs were always occupied day and night which was slightly disappointing, although have to write there were a few vacant armchairs as we checked out the following morning...

That apart it was all we had hoped it would be. It felt like a lodge, looked like a lodge and catered for guests and visitors very well. It was quite atmospheric with it's subdued light level, a photo of our room below paints the picture.

 

The prepared cross country ski routes were in pristine condition according to the skiers, it meant we could walk them without snowshoes quite easily with good walking boots, that's what we did. In every direction the views were beautiful, the silence was intense and the skiers scattered all around the Inn so hardly a soul was seen.

Some of the views with trains and equipment in showed quite clearly what could happen if a lot of snow fell for a few days, they had of course had problems in this area up until we arrived.

One snippet of information we did understand about the snow conditions was they had had the most snow at the Inn since 1996, over twenty years! and just the previous evening 10" had fallen, weren't we the lucky ones.

 

During our day there the sun shone and later turned to light snow fall but still quite bright, we couldn't have asked for more perfect conditions, not at all like February in London.

 

Apparently one downside to all this snow may be the snow melt. Staff admitted they are a bit worried if it all melts suddenly, they know lots of places will flood.

 

After a great day we ate at the restaurant, nice meal, good service and even better pudding, bread pudding with Huckleberries. The server was very charming to everyone, we heard her warn some ladies not to wear pompom hats at night as nesting owls were swooping down and taking them.

 

Warm room, good bed and the gentle noise of the freight locomotives moving around and passing by slowly as they were obviously trying to catch up after the heavy snow falls.  End of a memorable day.

 

Note for rail fans​  -  We had room 10 on the second floor, it's at the far left corner of the building when looking from the track. I think it's called an Empire Builder room and it's advantage is the front window looks directly on to the track, the side window is overlooking the train maintenance yard.

 

 

Lots of snow

 

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Edited by v v, 08 March 2018 - 02:35 AM.


#52 v v

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 02:58 AM

Monday 26 February Day 6 - 24 hours at the Izaak Walton, Essex, MT  ~  Photos Part II

 

 

A self propelled snow plough

 

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A large pushed snow plough

 

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Soaring mountains all around

 

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Did I mention a lot of snow?

 

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Really a lot of snow

 

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The rail yard

 

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That's where our 8 Empire Builder will arrive from

 

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Our room

 

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Edited by v v, 04 March 2018 - 03:20 AM.

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#53 Bob Dylan

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 08:59 AM

Winter Wonderland!😎

Great pics Jamie, it's Spring already down here in Texas!😊
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#54 oregon pioneer

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Posted 04 March 2018 - 04:07 PM

Oh my goodness, your photos are wonderful and it appears you had the BEST.WINTER WEATHER. EVER!

Glad to see those snowshoe tracks on the pristine canvas of the snow.


Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.


#55 v v

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 01:08 AM

Tuesday 27 February Day 7 - Essex, MT to Minneapolis Saint Paul

Written in downtown San Francisco Wednesday 7 March

 

​The 8 Empire Builder was 1 hour 30 minutes late into Essex, MT, we were the only ones leaving but still were driven in the van to the platform. Light snow in flurries but not much. Good to be back on board and this time with a Roomette.

 

 

Our Empire Builder arriving in Essex, MT with a freight locomotive attached in front of the 2 regular Amtrak passenger ones.

 

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Snowfall increases a little until we experience a whiteout and come to a stop, but the stop has nothing to do with snow rather another delay waiting for a freight train to pass. The weather conditions slowly improve but after more delays waiting for freights we are now 3 hours late.

 

So Jennifer, the train eating vortex didn't manage to delay us, but it had affected freights badly and their attempts at catching up did for us.

 

 

Rosie's detailed notes help write this blog

 

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Weather closing in

 

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...  and then begins to improve

 

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Three or four cars either bringing or collecting a small handful of passengers, this Montana stop was very remote indeed

 

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A barn and this tower were close-by, anyone know what this type of building is used for?

 

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Edited by v v, 10 March 2018 - 05:12 AM.


#56 v v

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 02:12 AM

Tuesday 27 February Day 7 - Essex, MT to Minneapolis Saint Paul  ~  Part II

Written in downtown San Francisco Wednesday 7 March

 

​We are passing through the incredible emptiness of Montana while starting lunch. In this vast space we come across a freight coming from? and going to?

 

 

Long train running

 

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We are joined for lunch by the delightful Rachael, a young lady who came from exactly this part of Montana and grew up in a small remote town. She successfully designs women's sportswear and had travelled around the world with her company. On her way to Havre, MT for family reasons she described vividly what it was like to grow up in an area where there was not a lot beyond the town's bounderies. She thought she had a wonderful childhood as doors were never locked and children could play outside without parents worrying.

Working in Seattle for 10 years she was now ready for a life change, and was contemplating how best to sell up in Seattle and move to Los Angeles. There were a number of reasons with the largest appearing to be better weather along with more opportunity.

 

 

A remote homestead in the distance

 

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After lunch Rachael visits us in our room, we learn even more about both Montana and Seattle. Eventually we arrive in Havre, Mt which turns out to be a major halt for local people. Goodbyes to Rachael and wonder if she will make her big move.

 

 

Surprising amount of activity on the platform at Havre

 

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Large small town Havre

 

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Relaxing rest of the day, what a great day to travel. The snow is thick on the ground all the way across to Minneapolis Saint Paul (MSP), gradually losing a little more time again due to stopping to allow freights through.

 

 

Not sure if these cars hadn't moved for hours, days or weeks?

 

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Edited by v v, 10 March 2018 - 05:13 AM.


#57 v v

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 02:29 AM

Wednesday 28 February Day 8 - A day in MSP and get to meet Forum manager Jeb and wife Chelsea

 

 

Mississippi river at Saint Paul frozen complete with ice floes

 

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To be continued...


Edited by v v, 09 March 2018 - 03:57 AM.


#58 JRR

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 06:29 AM

Thx for sharing. Great pics!


Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

#59 Hans

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 08:11 AM

Finally we managed to login on this forum, so not only we can read the as always great reports, but see the pictures as well. 
Yes that is snow (we just had 2") partially liked the barn with it's white hat.
Btw, that Black Birth has 2 engines, the 3' one in the middle is the engine of the only remaining drone of that project sitting on the back of this SR-71 make this combination ever so unique.
Next to the Concorde (sitting outside of this museum) my all time favorite plane. I'm sure that's an other forum though.
Have a safe trip

Hans

#60 oregon pioneer

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 01:40 PM

The structure in Montana that you are interested in is a "wigwam burner" used back in the old days to process sawmill waste. Back in the 1970s, I worked as a packer in a small mill that made cedar shakes ("hand-splits") and shingles for roofing. Don't have photos of me on the job packing shingles, but here's what I mostly did:

Verona+HR+1910+Union+Mill+Packer+copy.jp

 

Wigwam burners were a landmark in most western timber towns. There is still one standing within 15 miles of my home. Most stand alone now, the mill they were attached to having been torn down. Here's what they looked like in use:

smoke.jpg

 

And here's a little wigwam burner history, if you should want to follow up.


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Jennifer

 

I'm a "little Old Lady in Tennis Shoes" (LOLITS) from Eastern Oregon. I love to travel by train, though I live way out in the toolies, far from the nearest Amtrak station (Chemult). My station would have been Baker City, but they cancelled the Oregon Pioneer just before I took my first long-distance train trip as an adult. I've taken most trains in the West, but I'm still exploring new routes in the east.





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