Friday, January 20, 2017

Riding the Amtrak Cascades

Portland to Seattle

I left a snowbound and icy Portland, heading north to (believe it or not) a warmer, sunnier clime.  I wasn't the only tourist marveling at the downright balmy temperatures up here.  It seems the world has become a capricious and unsettled planet of late--one that continues to upset and baffle me.  That it was a full twenty degrees warmer once we hit central Washington caused me to merely shrug and utter to no one in particular.  "Uh.  Imagine that."

I boarded the train at noon and it didn't take long before frozen ponds were replaced by forests of green Douglas firs.  I grabbed a sandwich and a drink from the bistro car and settled in to enjoy the ride.  Once Mt. Rainier was framed by the window in all its glory, the entire car gasped in one collective breath.

I could feel the tension leave almost immediately.  This trip wasn't about just escaping the snow; it was about escaping the unfathomable event that is happening in Washington D.C. today.  As soon as the quiet landscape of Puget Sound appeared, I started to relax even more.  

And then the dramatic range of the Olympic Mountains appeared and I made myself a solemn vow.  I wasn't going to let today's inauguration ruin my life.  I vowed to return to this area next summer.  Tour the Olympic National Park.  Take a ferry over to the San Juan Islands.  See the Orcas cavorting in the Sound.  Then hop on another train and head east.  See North Dakota.  The Great Lakes.

Keep going.  And going.  And going.  

I'm riding the next four years out.

1 comment:

  1. That will be one fantastic trip! I'm wishing all your plans and dreams to come true!!