08 August 2008

Traveling by Train on the West Coast

I always thought that traveling by train would be sort of fun, adventurous, perhaps a bit mysterious....
Well - mystery solved! Traveling Amtrak in Coach is anything but glamourous! If you want a more upscale experience get a sleeping compartment, with that upgrade you can sit in the parlour car, have access to watching movies on a "big" screen, and the ever popular arcades.

That being said, the boys and I had a block of Coach seats from Dunsmuir to Oceanside last Saturday and we had a fun adventure on the 24 hour trip. I was being practical, the fare was 1/3 that of airfare for the three of us. The other alternative was to drive to Encinitas to visit friends and family.

One highlight of the trip was sunrise (which came all too soon after a 3:30am departure from the teeny tiny Dunsmuir Station)
Sunrise was just north of Yuba City, there were orchards and fields of gladiolus (I was too sleepy to get a picture of the flower fields)

The train slowed on this fantastic large curve of track and we could view the engine rounding the bend.
On other parts of the journey, we were warned about the "high speed zone" which meant the train would race to nearly 80MPH, walking the aisle at this speed required some agility!

The estuary near Monterey was very picturesque. The sun on the water and the blue sky made an effective commercial for another adventure to the Monterey Bay. We saw lots of birds as well as people in kayaks.

The best part however, was the sunset dinner we enjoyed in the dining car just south of San Luis Obispo
The sun dropping into the ocean, hurtling towards our South Coast destination. The delicious conversation as we recapped the day's and night's experiences, fueled our anticipation for the end of this leg of the trip....

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't imagine being on a train for 24 hours! But someday I might.


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