Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Empire Builder - day 3

We woke up early so that we could get breakfast at the dining car. After about 7 am, the dining car closes so that the crew can pack up and clean the car. The sleeping car attendants also start to clear the bed linens while you are at breakfast.

Just before going to bed on the trains, I take a Melatonin pill that helps me sleep during the night. I still wake up when the train jolts, but I feel drowsy and just drift back to sleep. Overall I slept very well on the train and it was the same for Marianne who also took Melatonin.

At about 5:30 Pacific time, we arrived at Wenatchee. We could have finished out journey here since we were going to stay here for three nights with our friend who lives in Seattle. However, we wanted to do the rest of the journey through the Cascade Mountains so we stayed on the train.

A taxi lurked, waiting for a possible passenger. There was no passenger wanting its services however.

Daylight eventually came along with a lot of smoke from the recent fires. 

The start of the seven mile Cascade Tunnel which is the longest rail tunnel in the US. The Wikipedia article describes the unusual ventilation system.

Pine trees everywhere.

Once though the tunnel, the train line follows the Tye River.

Rapids. It's a popular kayaking river.

We saw quite few fishermen. It was a Sunday.

It's a pretty journey and it would have been even better without the smoke.

By now we were out of the mountains and I have no idea what was growing here.

Everett, just north of Seattle. It's home to Boeing's main assembly plant.

The people in the compartment opposite us had left the train so we moved over to get photos of Puget Sound.

It's a lovely ride down the coast. 

Eventually we reached Edmonds where we had arranged to meet our friend. This is the ferry I used a few years ago to go to Kingston.

Our train arrives.

It had been a wonderful trip and we said thank you and goodbye to David, our sleeping car attendant.

Lydia and Marianne.

Loading up our luggage on the top of the car so that we could go back to Wenatchee.

There were three dogs in the car, two Airedales and this Kerry Blue terrier who is very friendly.

We drove along Route 2 and it was interesting to see the train line and some of the same scenery we had seen a few hours before.

We passed through Leavenworth which is done up to look like a Bavarian village. Even the McDonalds has a Bavarian theme.

Just outside Wenatchee we stopped at a road side stand to get some apples. One sixth of the apples grown in the US come from this area.

And so the long journey was over. We really enjoyed it and hope to do more of these western train trips in future.

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