Tag Archives: Amtrak Coast Starlight

Ridin’ The Rails…A Drei-Tale From The Rails…From L.A. to Portland…Up the Coast Starlight…12/3-4, 2019

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Holiday Greetings to you. Since I was a kid travel by rail has always been my favorite mode of transportation. Since my grandmother took me on my first rail trip on Amtrak on Thanksgiving Day, 1983, I’ve had an unconditional love affair with the rails. 

It has been awhile since i’ve had a chance to take a long distance trip via the rails. When I say long distance, I mean a trip beyond San Diego or The Bay Area. My last long distance trip on the rails was the summer of 2010 to Albuquerque. 

With the decade coming to a close, I told myself, do it. So I found myself riding along Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, Train 14, from L.A. to Portland. It was something I decided upon a whim. Though the route goes all the way to Seattle, a route i’ve done in it’s entirety a few times, I decided upon Portland, knowing that there probably wouldn’t be much to see past Southern Washington given the sun goes down early during the winter months.

So here are some highlights from my journey up the coast…

L.A. to NoCal

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Giving this Christmas tree in L.A. a touch of Blue…The kid seems to be amused. The tower show’s it’s a quarter to 9, Tuesday morning. My train won’t be leaving for another hour and 15 minutes…

A couple of ocean views before arriving to Santa Barbara. One of the things I try to do is take shots of as many stations along the way, especially those that still retain that old-school charm. Of course, I also have to take as many selfie’s of my station stops…

 

 

A couple more ocean shots before arriving to San Luis Obispo. SLO would be one of several rest stops. Because we’d arrive at SLO early, I had a chance to venture a little further away from the train before coming back on. Every now and then when a train arrives at a rest stop ahead of schedule, if lucky, it will arrive really early that you can walk around outside the station and do some exploring. 

In SLO we come across this statue of Chinese rail workers, The Iron Road Pioneers

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Here’s a pic I took 10 years ago…

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That is quite a sculpture…

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Another station stop selfie. Gotta love what’s behind me. A photo-bomber and a never-ending seen at train stations, airports and transportation hubs worldwide, the hug. (I’ll miss you, be sure you write when you arrive. OK, in today’s world, “Text me when you arrive”)

Just north of SLO. In the distance you can see Highway 101. You can also see the glare of the cafe car. Hey, I never said this was a professionally done tale…

Oakland Jack London Square station, just around 10 PM. 

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With not much to see at night, time for some solitaire before calling it a night. This is not a good start, especially hands 2 through 4…

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Departing Redding, early Wednesday morning. Not much to see here in either direction due to the early morning arrival times each way. Before we enter Oregon, let’s ’bout some Weed ?

Passing through Weed, CA as we’ve reached the 2nd day of our journey early Wednesday morning. (What we’re you all thinking when I said Weed?)

Southern Oregon to Portland

Klamath Falls. The first stop in Oregon, sometime around 9AM…

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Gotta get that Klamath Falls sign in there to make it official…

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ALL ABOARD ! There’s something about this station that take’s me back in time…

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Hey! A sunny and clear sky out there. But have we left the snow yet?

 

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Not quite…

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Hey, we can see the front of the train !

Now arriving Eugene, OR

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I wonder if the local’s are interested in taking Chip Kelly back…

Passing Albany and Salem…

Willamette University Baseball Field. Willamette U is a NCAA Division III school. Perhaps someday a future MLB player, maybe a future Dodger makes his way through here…

Now approaching PDX…

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As we approach Portland Union Station across the Wilamette River to the left of what looks like a power plant is the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, the home of the Portland Trail Blazers from 1970-1995. To kick off it’s 50th season, the Blazers held an exhibition on October 8th back where it started.

Amtrak, with it’s reputation of being behind schedule, for the most part got us to town on time, arriving about 30 minutes after it’s 3:25 scheduled arrival. Not bad at all for rail travel.

Well, that concludes the L.A. to Portland part of Drei’s Tale from the rails. Portland to L.A., or Van Nuys will be coming soon. We’ll see how much different the scenery is on the way back, you know, parts we may have missed on the way up…

But since we’re in town, let’s take in a Blazers game…Tonight’s opponent? The Sacramento Kings

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Coached by former Lakers coach, Luke Walton…

Pride Night  at the Moda Center. 

Celebrating 50 years in Rip City…

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Greetings from Rip City, Oregon.