Back at the Hut!

Amtrack’s Coast Starlight took me to Seattle, and brought me home again, no hassles, no missing luggage, no being pulled out of line for a pat-down. I bought a ticket for a sleeper car because it is a 24 hour ride. I highly recommend it.

The thing is to consider the journey part of the vacation. Sure, I could have taken the plane (it would have been cheaper, prolly), but the indignities that they foist on you outweigh the convenience.
Egg Capitol of the World!

Seriously, how often do you get to see famous monument of the egg capitol of Washington? Plus I got to see how beautiful Oregon and southern Washington are — and they are very beautiful. (It was night when I left so “Superior California) was not part of the sight seeing, sadly, in either direction.)

Being a fussy foodie, I packed a picnic each way — and while the food service on AmTrack is improving, I still think this is the way to do it right. Ah, to enjoy single-malt scotch while buzzing bird-level through the trees of Oregon? Beats the plane every time. Pack a picnic, folks. Just do it. No one should have to eat poor food.

Anyway, I’m back, but I’m kinda rolling still. I’ll be light posting today and back to more-or-less normal tomorrow.

Regards,

Tengrain

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17 Responses to Back at the Hut!

  1. Hell yeah to a train over a plane or an automobile. I leave the ‘that would make one hell of an omelette’ jokes for others.

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  2. Michelle says:

    Wait!?! What the?!? You passed through my Eggtown without a shoutout? Ouch! By the way, I am conflicted about our famous egg. We claim it is the world’s largest egg. I feel that “the world’s largest egg” should actually be a real egg, not a cement facsimile. Don’t tell the locals I said that!

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  3. Michelle says:

    Another note, we took Amtrak from Los Angeles to San Francisco once. Heading north was great fun. South? Not so much. Our train was a full 12 hours late arriving in Oakland. We were scheduled to leave at 10am and didn’t leave until after 10pm. I haven’t been on the train since. I like to think I can roll with the punches. 2 hours? OK. 4 hours? Whatever. 6 hours? Uh. . . but 12 hours. No thanks.

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    • Tengrain says:

      Again, train trips are the event themselves, not just conveyance to your location. The southbound trip started about an hour late, but zen-like it didn’t matter much because the point was the ride itself. If I had to absolutely be somewhere to make a connection at a specific time, this would not be the way to do it.

      Regards,

      Tengrain

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  4. raceynora says:

    I once took the train from Truckee to Emeryville and it was fine – the scenery was not all that but, like Michelle, my train was HOURS late. Not that the same thing does not happen with the airlines. On my trip to London two weeks ago, we were three hours delayed out of Chicago because of a water leak in the back of the plane – turned out to be a seal on the coffee pot!

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  5. Buffy says:

    Hear, hear. I’ve had it with the flying BS. Pay through the nose for your flight, pay extra for your bag, pay for a little snack box and a drink, arrive two hours early and stand in line for security checks, get crammed in like sardines, etc, etc. Then if you’re going any distance you’ll probably have a layover that can be hours long.

    Recently my wife and I opted for a train ride rather than a flight. We didn’t care that there was an hour delay for departure (bad weather) before our four-hour trip. We were sitting across from one another, each in a comfortable wide seat with an empty one beside us. We had a huge table on which we could read, eat, work, etc. When we wanted to rest we could either recline the seats a bit or curl up since we had nobody next to us. It was wonderful. We’d take the train over flying any day.

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  6. SkinnyDennis says:

    What pleasant news of your little sojourn! I read your post on the airporter bus after landing at SFO, swearing once again that this was my final flight. We rode the CS up from LA to Emeryville just about a month ago, and were delighted. I’m trying to figure out how to get in the rest of the route ASAP.
    To those disenchanted by late trains; throw your watch away, the adventure is in the trip, not the destination.

    (14,000 Amtrak rail miles in the last 2 years)

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  7. My train travel is limited to the Amtrak from NY to Phila, but damn, it’s fast and convenient. Expensive, though, since the Northeast corridor travel subsidizes most other routes. Waiting for congress (sigh) to give Amtrak more cash to improve service, expand service and stop penalizing the NOrtheast. Here’s hoping some of those high speed rail plans actually are carried out. Train travel is so much more civilized than flying.

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  8. SkinnyDennis says:

    Pissed
    Way I heard it, the NEC is highly subsidized, and the long distance trains hold their own, and some even make money. But this is a subject for another thread, and probably another forum… I’ll be over on Amtrak Unlimited as PetalumaLoco if interested.

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  9. SkinnyDennis says:

    TG
    Most of the time…

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  10. Tengrain says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention the Pacific Parlor Cars which are part of the Coast Starlight experience when you buy a sleeper car ticket. They are restored older observation cars where they have a little bar, and a white-table cloth dining room. It is not quite as opulent as Murder on the Orient Express, but they it is real wood paneling, crystal light fixtures, heavy drapes and true club room seating in the observation deck; down below is a little movie theater. The PPCar was an added bonus, and was where I “enjoyed” a Wine and Cheese tasting event that the less said, the better, but I did enjoy my seat-mates from Amsterdam. Hookers and Hashish, indeed!

    Regards,

    Tengrain

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  11. Tengrain says:

    SkinnyDennis –

    I was thinking about a little road trip up there sometime. My folks retired to Dillon Beach, and so I have fond memories of Petaluma; plus I was thinking about ethical, non-factory farms sourcing for lambs, cows, and pigs: Petaluma is the place for all that…

    Regards,

    Tengrain

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  12. SkinnyDennis says:

    Hah, was out past Dillon Beach on Saturday…
    Give a holler next time thru, I’ll buy you a local brew.

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  13. Bruce388 says:

    I had a couple of good trips on the AutoTrain between Lorton, VA and Sanford, Fl, especially when we got a cabin. Expensive, but cheaper when booked months in advance and you have your car with you in Fl.

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  14. SkinnyDennis: A trip from NY to Phila, not on Acela, is anywhere from $45 to $87, one way. That isn’t subsidized. And every train is usually packed. Interestingly, if you wanted to go further, say, to Charleston, it’s not much more. I’ve always heard that the NE corridor more than pays for itself. Among other things, Amtrak owns the track in the NE corridor, but rents/pays the railroad that owns the track elsewhere.

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